Attention-grabbing these days is the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, an event bringing together the world's elite tennis players. Tournaments are underway on the continent, but also nearby, in Tasmania or New Zealand. Romania's best tennis players have also registered for the tennis tournaments in Australia, and their run so far has been excellent. For instance, Irina Begu last week reached as far as the semi-finals of the WTA 500 Adelaide International 1 tournament, an event with more than 825 thousand USD in prize money. Reason enough for Radio Romania International to designate Irina Begu the Athlete of the week.
In Adelaide, in the first round, Irina outclassed US opponent Shelby Rogers, 3-6, 7-6, 6-1. It was Irina 's debut match in 2023. Then in the round of 16, Irina Begu crushed seventh-seeded player in Adelaide, Latvian challenger Jelena Ostapenko, 6-3, 6-nil. In the quarterfinals, Begu defeated fourth-seeded tennis player, Russia's Veronika Kudermetova, 7-5, 6-4, after more than two hours of play. However, in the semi-finals, Begu was overpowered by Arina Sabalenka of the Belarus, 3-6, 2-6. For her excellent run in Adelaide, Irina was rewarded with 43, 323 USD and 185 WTA points. Sabalenka eventually won the tournament, grabbing a 6-3, 7-6 win against Czech challenger Linda Noskova.
Irina Camelia Begu was born in Bucharest on August 26, 1990. Throughout her career, she won five WTA tournaments in women's singles: in Tashkent, in 2012, then in Seoul, in 2015, in Florianopolis, in 2016, in Bucharest, in 2017, then in Palermo, in 2022. In the women's doubles, Irina Begu won nine tournaments. In 2012, she won the tournament in Hobart, pairing up with Monica Niculescu, then in 's Hertogenbosch, in 2013, she emerged as winner pairing up with Anabel Medina Garrigues, in Rio de Janeiro, in 2014, Irina paired up with Maria Irigoyen; in Seoul, also in 2014, Irina Begu and Lara Arruabarrena won, and in Bucharest, in 2017, jointly with Raluca Olaru, Irina again emerged as winner. Also in 2017, Irina Camelia Begu won the tournament in Tianjin, pairing up with Sara Errani. In 2018, Irina Begu won the tournament in Shenzen, jointly with Simona Halep and again, in Bucharest, this time in the company of Andreea Mitu.
Irina Camelia Begu's most recent title in the women's doubles was won in 2019 at the Thailand Open, when she paired up with Monica Niculescu. According to the world rankings, Irina Begu is 28-placed in the women's singles and 166th-placed in the women's doubles rankings.(EN)