Nike is the real winner at the 2024 Australian Open women's final

Aryna Sabalenka and Qiwen Zheng are Nike athletes

Andy Cheung/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Ten years ago, Nike was the premier brand of clothing for world-famous tennis players. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, and Maria Sharapova were the athletes wearing Nike tennis clothing at every tournament. At that time, there were few brands to compete with Nike.

Then, Roger Federer left Nike to go with Uniqlo, and other brands began to take center stage including Lacoste who enlisted both Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev to wear its clothing. Lululemon, Adidas, Fila, Lotto, Yonex, On, and New Balance are outfitting tennis players these days.

It is rare to see Nike worn by both players in a women's Grand Slam final anymore, but it happened at the 2024 Australian Open singles final between Aryna Sabalenka and Qinwen Zheng who both have worn Nike for years.

Aryna Sabalenka is the future of Nike women's tennis

Sabalenka is now a two-time Australian Open champion so Nike needs to feature her more. There was an effort to do it at this year's Australian Open with the distinctive red dress so hopefully, that is just the beginning.

Serena Williams left a gap in tennis in many ways, showcasing custom-designed Nike clothes was one of them. Longtime Nike athletes, Madison Keys and Petra Kvitova did not play in this year's Australian Open. Naomi Osaka, also known for wearing Nike, was out of tennis last year and is working her way back. Victoria Azarenka is another tennis veteran wearing Nike. Efforts to get the next generation of women into Nike wear include recruiting Mirra Andreeva to wear the clothing. Nike needs to enlist more top female tennis players (and preferably younger players) to wear its clothing if it wants to continue to be the premier brand in women's tennis.

The brand is much more prevalent in men's tennis with Nadal being the most well-known male tennis player wearing Nike with his custom-designed logo and clothing. Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, and Americans Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe also sport the brand so there is some continuity for the next generation of men.

Read more on Lob and Smash

manual