Caroline Wozniacki - Showcasing Stella's Stylish New Adidas Designs

It's a tough job, trying to predict what the public will want next in the world of tennis fashion, and which up-and-coming potential tennis star will best ignite their desires.

The major sports apparel manufacturers know the importance of making the right apparel design choices and selecting the appropriate players to showcase their clothing, but the complexity of the problem can tax even the top two - Adidas and Nike.

They constantly scan the latest tennis talent, offering lucrative deals to the most promising, most visually attractive and most media-friendly players. If they can secure the services of a player who can tick all these three boxes, then they're onto a near certain money spinner.

These Talented Players Have Recently Fallen In The WTA Rankings

Unfortunately, whereas the latter two criteria tend to remain fairly constant, the farther reaches of the WTA rankings are littered with 'promising' players who failed to maintain that promise. Recent high-flying 'casualties' of this tendency include Nicole Vaidisova, Anna Chakvetadze, Agnes Szavay, Tatiana Golovin and even recent world No. 1 and Roland Garros winner, Ana Ivanovic.

Of these players, undoubtedly injury has been a factor with some, but with others certain psychological frailties have been exposed. It seems that the adage about how it's hard to get to the top, but it's even harder to stay there, may be at work as well.

Reebok And adidas Count The Cost Of Their Stars' Decline

Perhaps the most dramatic fall of all is that of Nicole Vaidisova. Reebok must have been very confident that their girl would sell tennis dresses and shoes in abundance, as Nicole seemed to have everything: her statuesque good looks, her youth and her great tennis game that took her to the world's top ten, with every likelihood of climbing within that elite group. Now, a couple of years later, Nicole has recently retired (aged 21), after a series of poor results as her passion for tennis evaporated. Her involvement with, and subsequent marriage to Czech tennis player, Radek Stepanek was another factor in her loss of focus.

Two years ago, Ana Ivanovic was a dream come true for Adidas - stunningly good looking, a personality and style to match and fiercely competitive on court. Within weeks of winning the French Open, the extra pressures of her higher profile and expectations seemed to take their toll, with a disappointing display at Wimbledon and many unexplained early exits from tournaments thereafter.

People still search for the dress that bears her name, but not as many as would have been the case had she maintained her early 2008 form. It's a universal reality that most people like to model themselves on winners, and a stylish tennis outfit worn by a person prone to first round exits is not going to seem quite as alluring as the same outfit worn by a finalist.

Caroline Wozniacki - A New Hope For Adidas Women's Tennis

At about the same time as Ana was securing a new coach last year, the Adidas player development team were selecting the next fast-rising talent to receive the 'extra push' from the application of their extensive knowledge. Caroline Wozniacki was the obvious choice as her skillful tennis was already projecting her towards the top ten, and her easy-going personality and looks were not dissimilar to Ana's.

Caroline's whole family is sports orientated - her father and mother played soccer and volleyball respectively to a high level in Denmark, and her brother plays professional soccer now. This most certainly gave Caroline the level-headed appreciation of the pressures of competing on the world stage. This should allow her to put these pressures into a controlled context and let her better concentrate on her tennis.

Her amazing run at the 2009 US Open seems to confirm that if she doesn't reach the world No. 1 ranking, it won't be as a result of any mental frailty. She has the ability to smile at tense times during the match, like Jelena Jankovic and Virginie Razzano, which acts as a safety valve to release unwanted emotions that would damage her game. Equally talented but stressed-out players like Dinara Safina and Vera Zvonareva would do well to take a leaf out of her book.

Lucrative Tennis Sponsorships Can Be A Burden

Perhaps one of the most difficult extra pressures to deal with comes from securing a lucrative deal with sponsors. The 'icing on the cake' for the top players can sometimes unsettle their games, as the focus tends to shift from an unfettered desire to take higher ranked players' 'scalps' to improve their ranking, to trying to hang on to what they've got to keep their sponsors happy.

This seems to have happened most clearly to Novak Djokovic in the men's game, as a profitable deal to change racquet sponsors coincided with a loss of form. His relaxed easy-going demeanor suffered in equal measure.

Only those at the pinnacle of the game - the likes of Maria Sharapova, the Williams sisters, Roger Federer and Raphael Nadal, are mentally resolute enough to prevent financial considerations from impacting on their games.

The Exclusive Face Of This Stylish Tennis Apparel Collaboration

Caroline Wozniacki now has these pressures as her Adidas tennis apparel deal has been 'upgraded' to being the exclusive face of Adidas by Stella McCartney tennis apparel. She succeeds Maria Kirilenko in this position as the stunning Russian's tennis rarely allowed the gorgeous clothing a viewing in the latter stages of tournaments, though she did manage a strong performance at the 2010 Australian Open. Caroline's current top ten ranking probably secured the deal, but now for Caroline comes the added burden of maintaining this position against the seemingly inexhaustible supply of upcoming talented Russians and Eastern Europeans.

The partnership of Adidas and Stella McCartney is a shrewd one for both parties: Stella gets access to a massive multi national sports brand, with all the expertise in apparel designed for cooling and comfort during strenuous activity. Adidas acquire the stylish embellishments of a leading designer to add more femininity to their functional clothing. This has allowed them to compete with arch rivals, Nike, who have fashion conscious Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams adding their own creative features to Nike's basic designs.

Nothing is a certainty in the world of tennis; just look at the amazing unexpected triumph of Kim Clijsters at the US Open, so soon after retirement. But Adidas and Stella McCartney have likely found the ideal person to promote their tennis clothing and shoes in Caroline Wozniacki. The worldwide scarcity of the pretty Stella dress she showcased at the 2009 US Open immediately following the event seems to bear this out!