Can Simona Halep Do for Romanian Tennis What Nadia Comaneci Did for Gymnastics?

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Toca, 36, was born 4 years after Virginia Ruzici gained the ladies’s French Open title in 1978, which was the nation’s final Grand Slam singles triumph earlier than Saturday. Her title capped what had been a golden technology of Romanian skills, led by the two-time Grand Slam champion Ilie Nastase.

“In Romania, the achievement is gigantic,” Ruzici mentioned of Halep’s win.

Romanian tennis has endured a number of years of less-positive information, particularly concerning Nastase. Final yr, he was thrown out of a Fed Cup competitors through which he was serving as captain for Romania, and was later punished for racist and sexist feedback he made there.

Two days earlier than this yr’s French Open started, Nastase was arrested twice in a six-hour span, first on prices of drunken driving, after which on prices of working a purple mild on a scooter.

Ion Tiriac, who alongside Nastase helped lead Romania to Davis Cup glory within the 1970s, has used his enterprise acumen to help Halep’s profession. He mentioned that his technology of gamers can be heartened to lastly have a successor.

“Romanian gamers deserve that,” Tiriac mentioned. “Now we have, for good or for dangerous, a historical past in our nation. Occasionally jumps a expertise like Simona.”

Romania has 5 different girls ranked within the prime 70, however the nation’s contingent in males’s tennis is significantly extra meager, with just one man ranked inside the highest 400.

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