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Halep Headlines Dubai, Nearing Nike Deal?

Simona Halep will launch her return to tournament tennis in the Middle East.

Will she be wearing Nike when she arrives?

The world No. 2 will headline the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships set for February 19-24th.

Evert: Keep Court's Name On Arena

The 26-year-old Halep's clothing contract with adidas expired at the end of 2017.

Rumors have swirled that Halep, who played the first month of the season in a plain red outfit she ordered online from a seamstress in China, is close to signing a new apparel pact with Nike.

Today, Halep appeared at Romania's Fed Cup practicing wearing a Nike jacket.

Halep, who opened the season sweeping both singles and doubles titles at the Shenzhen Open, reached her third Grand Slam final at the Australian Open where she fell to Caroline Wozniacki in a three-set thriller.

Halep headlines a loaded Dubai field that includes Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, defending Dubai champion and recent Brisbane winner Elina Svitolina, two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber, 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys, 2016 US Open finalist and former world number one Karolina Pliskova, 2018 St. Petersburg runner-up Kristina Mladenovic and Australian No. 1 Ashleigh Barty.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve