Best Romanian Tennis Players In History
If you were going to be betting on a player, there is a strong chance of doing well by choosing one of the elite Romanian tennis stars. Throughout history, there have been many successful players from Romania, winning French Opens, Wimbledon, Grand Slams, and much more. Today, we will be looking at the life of five of the best tennis players to come from this wonderful country. From players in history to current stars trying to make a name for themselves, here are our top five.
Tennis player Simona Halep was born in Romania in 1991 on the 27th of September. During her career, she was ranked the top seed in singles on two occasions. In 2017 and 2018, Halep ranked the top in singles. During the period 2014-2021, Halep was among the top 10 players in the world, remaining in the top 10 for 373 consecutive weeks. This is the eighth-longest streak in history. During that time, her ranking never fell below No. 4. Her 22 triumphs have been followed by 17-second places. Simona has won two Grand Slams in her career, the French Open in 2018 and Wimbledon in 2019.
Halep joined the top 50 for the first time at the end of 2011 and made her way to the top 20 in August 2013. Finally, in January 2014, Simona became one of the top 10 players in the world. Halep won her first six WTA titles in the same calendar year, the first since 1986. The WTA named her player of the year following her breakthrough year. Her career culminated with her reaching three Grand Slam finals – the French Open in 2014, the Australian Open in 2017, and the French Open in 2018 – before winning her first Grand Slam title in 2018. Halep won women’s and girls’ singles titles for the sixth time in French Open history. She lost the match to Williams in the round-robin stage of the 2014 WTA Finals, but she finished as the runner-up. A second defeat for Williams at the Wimbledon Championships.
In 2017, 2018, and 2019, the fans voted Halep the WTA fan-favorite player of the Year. Among other honors, she has also received the Order of the Star of Romania and the Patriarchal Cross of Romania. In 2005 she won a Grand Slam singles title and became only the second Romanian to make the top ten of the WTA rankings following Virginia Ruzici. Her success at Wimbledon and that she reached the top rankings are two other firsts for Romania.
Ilie Theodoriu Năstase
Ilie Theodoriu Năstase is amongst the world tennis players who have reached rank number 1 within his career. The computerized ATP rankings first recorded his position as world no. 1 in singles between 23rd August 1973 and 2nd June 1974. With 64 ATP singles titles and 45 ATP doubles titles, he is one of the top 10 players in history. In addition, 1972 was the year Năstase became the first professional athlete to sign with Nike. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991.
Ruxandra Dragomir Ilie is a Romanian tennis player born on 24th October 1972. A successful career with four single title wins and five doubles title wins. In August 1997, Dragamir reached her highest WTA ranking reaching number 15 in the world. Other notable career achievements came with her presidential serving of the Romanian Tennis Federation between 2009 and 2013. In 2005 Ruxandra retired from professional tennis without sadly winning the French Open. Throughout the tournament, she beat the likes of Yayuk Basuki, Sonya Jeyaseelan, Nicole Arendt, and Karina Habsudova but was eventually beaten by the eventual champion, Iva Majoli.
Sorana Mihaela Cirstea
Romanian-born Sorana Mihaela Cîrstea is a 31-year-old tennis player regarded as one of the best in the nation’s history. In 2013 she was ranked as world No. 21. This was on top of an already career-high ranking of 35 in doubles tournaments. Sorana has won the French open on two separate occasions, and while she doesn’t have a trophy, she also reached the Roger Cup final in 2013. In addition, she has played against some of the greats, such as Sara Errani, Francesca Schiavone, and Venus Williams, adding victories against them all on her resume.
A well-known Romanian tennis player, Ion Tiriac, has won many titles. As well as being a great tennis player, Tiriac played ice hockey for his country. Since the 1980s, he has surrounded himself with tennis, playing until he became the president of the Romanian Tennis Federation. He never won more than a single grand slam in his career, but he ranked among the top-10 singles players on the ATP circuit. In addition, Tiriac defeated a female for the first time in a tennis-sanctioned event. Tiriac also represented Romania at the 1964 Winter Olympics as a member of the Romanian national team.
During the 1980s, he switched from playing professionally to advising and coaching. He helped guide many players such as Guillermo Vilas, Adriano Panatta, Ilie Năstase, Manuel Orantes, Henri Leconte, and Boris Becker. The Mutua Madrid Open was the first tournament he created as an ATP masters event.
Ion was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013 after a vote by his peers. He currently manages Lucas Pouille of France. Aside from tennis, Ion Tiriac is a successful businessman ranked third among the wealthiest Romanians according to Forbes’ annual rankings.