Australian Open WTA fashion: New sponsorships, No.1 player in no-name clothes, the tale of the jumpsuit

It’s been a turbulent start to the 2018 season when it comes to women’s tennis fashion, so doing my traditional Grand Slam fashion overview of the Australian Open will be even more interesting. Quite a few top players changed their apparel sponsors, there’s a clothing sponsorship mishap involving No.1 player Simona Halep and Adidas’ first-ever jumpsuit is having a roller-coaster ride this fortnight. 

Let’s start with the shocking fact that top seed Simona Halep has no clothing deal, as her contract with Adidas expired on January 1st, and is wearing a generic red outfit purchased online from China!

The 26-year-old is surprisingly happy to have ordered the sewing of this outfit at the last minute, as she revealed in her pre-tournament interview:

Yeah, I sent a picture. Was a site, in China actually, and one of my managers helped me, and in 24 hours I had the outfit, and were perfect (smiling). I was lucky. I (found them) on Internet. Everything is on Internet now (smiling). I was a little bit stressed. I chose the model. But it’s plain, come on. Nothing special there. It looks good, in my opinion. I like it.

Halep kicked off the new season by winning the Shenzhen Open in this no-name kit and following that tournament it was rumored that Nike would become the Romanian’s new apparel sponsor, but unbelievably, the top-ranked player is still in her Chinese outfit.

Last year’s runner-up Venus Williams was eliminated from the draw on Day 1, so we didn’t get to see much of her new EleVen Aztec collection, recognizable for its geometric print that combines overlapping vibrant colors. The American sported the Aztec Love Tank and the Aztec Fly Skirt during her sole match at the 2018 Australian Open, while my favorite item in the line that “illustrates a women’s ability to conquer the world with a powerful sense of renewal” is the Aztec Pursuit Dress with halter neckline.

Adidas’ new teal w/yellow clothes have a casual fit, braided details and soft fabrics, reflecting the relaxing atmosphere of Melbourne’s beaches. The 2016 champion Angelique Kerber sported the lightweight Adidas Melbourne Burnout Tank, featuring loose armholes and a braided T-back design, and the 2-in-1 flowy Adidas Melbourne Skirt/Shorts, a sporty interpretation of the iconic culotte silhouette. The German’s shoes: Adidas’ Ubersonic 3 model in the color coral.

Jelena Ostapenko paired the shorts with the Adidas Melbourne Tank, which features a braided detail both at chest and at racerback, exposing a contrast built-in bra. Another style that captures the atmosphere of the Grand Slam’s host city.

The fashion masterpiece of this Australian Open is definitely the Adidas Melbourne Jumpsuit, whose top promoter was supposed to be Kristina Mladenovic, but because of the Frenchwoman’s early exit, the outfit got better exposure by Andrea Petkovic. When the German lost as well, Stella’s Caroline Wozniacki switched to the jumpsuit and the standout piece finally got a lot of well-deserved attention.

Before hopping in the jumpsuit, Caroline Wozniacki sported her original outfit, this Adidas Spring Stella McCartney Tank and the Adidas Spring Stella McCartney Skirt. The tank is a sporty, tight-fitting, sunshine-inspired design with integrated mesh and cute side zipper detail, while the white skirt is perfect for hot weather because of its color, curved perforated panel, UPF 50+ protection and moisture-wicking material. Caro’s shoes: Adidas Stella Barricade Boost.

Garbine Muguruza rocked the same outfit and also exposed the quarter-sleeve Adidas Spring Stella McCartney LS Top.

The first photos of Maria Sharapova‘s Australian Open dress showed it as a pink, short-sleeve design with black colorblocks, but just before the tournament started new photos surfaced — the black inserts were replaced with sheer, feminine sections and short sleeves got retracted to cap sleeves.

The Russian wore the barely rose version of the Nike Spring Maria Dress, while the design also exists in crimson bliss.

Elina Svitolina‘s Nike Spring Zonal Cooling Top has a classic shape, but that’s all that’s classic in this design, as at closer inspection you can see engineered mesh zones that provide ventilation, while stretchy material follows the movements of players and wicks sweat away. The Nike Spring Ace Shorts that complete the Ukrainian’s look are a modern 2-in-1 design that includes tight elongated shorts and soft outer knit shorts with side pockets.

Svitolina opted for crimson tint version of this athletic design, while Eugenie Bouchard chose the more eye-catching color lava glow.

Fila decided to go back to basics with the latest Heritage collection. Evergreen colors and archival design details such as stripes, color-blocks and pleats characterized the style of Fila-clad players Karolina Pliskova and Ashleigh Barty at the Australian Open.

Leaving Lacoste for Lotto, Alize Cornet worked the Spring Nixia Dress of her new clothing sponsor. The solid green dress features a zig-zag pattern on the front and racerback, which adds to the visual appeal together with the feminine ruffled hem.

Lacoste never wants to attract attention with busy and colorful designs, they rather stick to a traditional sporty theme as we can see in yet another navy dress worn Dominika Cibulkova. The dress is not absolutely bland — it has a dominant white block on the back, coordinated with the wide V-shaped contrast on the neckline.

Julia Goerges arrived at the Australian Open on the wings of three consecutive WTA titles, wearing the porcelain blue Asics Spring Athlete AO Dress. The stretch-construction item looks very simple at first glance, but when you look at it closely you can see that it has extended hem and Gel-Cool technology on the back, to name just a couple of its performance features.

Nicole Gibbs New Balance Holiday Tournament Dress stands out with its white stripe binding at the neckline and armholes and racerback with a keyhole cutout in the shape of a vertical ellipse, which you can see in my detailed description of New Balance’s latest collection. Subtle design elemzents include an all-over dynamic print and dotted mesh double-layer skirt.

Monica Puig‘s Ellesse dress incorporates fire and sky colors, all of which perfectly match the sunny Melbourne days.

Mizuno‘s Kiki Bertens sported dark shorts with safety yellow contrast and a V-neck tank in the clover color, which also exists in a print version inspired by “Kasumi” (fog) blurry effect and color graduation to express air movement and circulation.

Anastasija Sevastova promoted the Yonex Melbourne Tank in pastel green with waist-defining charcoal stripe and a coordinating Yonex Melbourne Skirt.

Australian Open fashion through the years:

Kateryna Bondarenko‘s new Sergio Tacchini dress is a blue, red and white sporty design featuring a small side slit and a diagonal waist panel with blurred edges.

No longer endorsing Adidas, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova showed up in her new Sofibella attire. In these photos we can see the Sofibella Paris Volley Dress, a grey pleated design with black and electric yellow accents,and the Sofibella Paris Asymmetric Tank + Skirt. Both outfits provide UV 50+ protection.

Lauren Davis was another player enjoying a brand new clothing sponsorship deal, wearing a cute V-neck Diadora dress with nice triangular cutout on the lower back.

World No.119 Croatian Jana Fett, who had two match points in the second round against Wozniacki, promoted Martina Hingis’ Tonic apparel, in particular the fall collection’s Felixe Skirt featuring a sheer mesh trim at bottom hem.

Veronica Cepede Royg showcased a standout piece from the same Tonic collection, the royal blue version of the waist-defining Estrella Dress, characteristic for its deep V-shaped mesh insert on the chest and back.

Now that you have a complete Australian Open fashion overview in front of you, tell me which one is your favorite! My No.1 choice would be the jumpsuit, but I also love Ashley Barty’s separates, Stella’s designs, etc.

Most of these designs are available at Tennis Warehouse USA and Tennis Warehouse Europe.

To see what the biggest WTA stars wore at the previous three Grand Slams, check out my US Open, Wimbledon and Roland Garros overviews:

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15 thoughts on “Australian Open WTA fashion: New sponsorships, No.1 player in no-name clothes, the tale of the jumpsuit

  1. CLT

    It doesn’t make much sense to talk about 50+ sun protection in the fabrics when the outfits are so tiny. The vast majority of their skin is directly exposed to the sun.
    I like the Stella Macartney, Fila, Lacoste and Asics outfits. Not so keen on Venus’s print this time – looks a bit like curtains from the 1970s.

  2. Jacob

    This is a very disappointing year for Grand Slam fashion. The Adidas jumpsuit doesn’t fit right, and the colours don’t compliment the court or players. Also, the Adidas shorts look horrible on the players.

    Sharapova look’s the best, but still not that great.

  3. MG

    The jumpsuit looks great on caro and kiki but would def not work for me. Second place to simona for the perfectly fitting dress!

  4. ian

    I think making the back side of the adidas jumpsuit with braid shape is lame… Its like they cant come up with a better back dress design..

    Sharapova made her Nike dress looks gorgeous, my favorite for sure..

    And I love the New Balance dress but it looks too hot of color for under Melbourne sun..

    Svitolina’s and Bouchard outfits are probably the worst designs ever, dull and looks cheap.. Shouldve paired the top with loose skirts..

  5. JohnnyB

    Very nice all inclusive article!🙂

    You mentioned Kristina Mladenovic lost and was not around to wear her outfit. Actually, she was there the entire tournament and won the women’s double championship along side Timea Babos. It seems the entire tennis world ignores the doubles competition. 🙁

    The most popular outfit worn by the most players was the one pictured here worn by Svitolina. There were variations including a shorter top and tighter shorts, but the same color prevailed. Sofia Bella outfits in various colors were next most popular.

  6. ozzie

    Marija do you know why Caro is wearing the jumpsuit? Did Adidas think its best suit for their marquee players to wear differently i.e Caroline and Garbine?

    Honestly, Adidas wins it for me. Jumpsuit is something I’ve never seen before, looks current and chic especially on Woz and Kiki. Though the shorts on Ostapenko and Kerber looks too grandma shorts or too fluffy, its not complimenting anyone.

    Nike’s line is too boring, I feel asleep looking at thier players. 😴😴😴

  7. Helen

    I agree with you Maria, I love the Adidas jumpsuit, definitely my favourite and I’ll be picking one up for this summer – both for the court and the beach!

  8. Marija Post author

    Johnny B, it’s true that Kiki was actually around the entire tournament, but singles competition is apparently way more popular and Adidas decided that Kiki’s appearance in doubles wasn’t enough.

    Ozzie, as I said above, I think that the early singles losses of the original jumpsuit-wearing players forced Adidas to dedicate the jumpsuit to Caro. It turned out to be an excellent move! It’s just a pity for Stella that Caro won her first Grand Slam in other clothes.

  9. Claire

    Adidas rocks! Especially the jumpsuit, but Kerber’s separates as well. The rest is boring and the dress Sharapova was wearing is obviously ill-fitting.

  10. mamiejane

    I hated the close to the throat neckline of the Nike outfits this year. It looked uncomfortable and unflattering. And I was surprised how much Adidas wanted to promote the jumpsuit. It looked okay but not great on anyone and it doesn’t seem very functional for a recreational player. I wish Venus had the budget to sponsor Halep. It would be great to see the EleVen outfits on a different body type and somehow, I think Simona and Venus would be a great team. My favorites this time were the Diadora, Mizuno and Stella looks.

  11. Jim

    Thanks for the info about Simona Halep’s generic dress, Marija. I was wondering where she got this while watching the exciting final between her and Caro. I actually liked her dress better! As for generic outfits, though, I have to mention Hsieh Su-wei. She wore an Adidas visor, Nike shoes, and a “dress” that looked like she picked up on the rack at a thrift store. Bless her heart, though as she nearly defeated Kerber to make it to the quarterfinals.

  12. emmanuel damian

    I have to say, Adidas clearly owned AO this year! I actually love the Stella collection that Caro initially sported but when she transitioned to the jumpsuit, I was really happy. She really looks good on it. I also love the dress of Nastia. I think Sofibella will have a great year! I would give a runner up trophy to Ellesse. Monica really looks good on it.

  13. Marija Post author

    Maity, yeah, the halter-neck dress is the best piece from the collection, I prefer it to any of the separates.

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