week played host to the Țiriac
Foundation Trophy, a WTA 125 competition offering 115 thousand USD in total
prizes. The competition's top eight seeds were players ranked in the WTA Top
100, starting Romanians Sorana Cîrstea, WTA 38, and Irina Begu, WTA 41. Sorana
however was knocked out in the opening round by Simona Waltert of Switzerland,
WTA 118. Irina, on the other hand, reached and won the final, which is why we
have designated her Athlete of the Week on RRI.
Irina had a
stellar performance in Bucharest, finishing the competition without losing a
single set. In the first round she eased past Laura Pigossi of Brazil, 6-3,
6-1. In the second round she took on another Romanian player, Irina Bara,
winning 6-0, 6-2. In the quarterfinals, Irina won 6-1, 6-1 against Kateryna
Baindl of Ukraine. In the semi-finals, Irina played Sara Errani of Italy, whom
she defeated 6-2, 6-2. It was a little harder in the final, where Irina played Reka-Luca
Jani of Hungary. Irina eventually won 6-3, 6-3 at the end of nearly 2 hours of
playtime. For her win in Bucharest, Irina was awarded a 15-thousand-USD check
and 160 WTA points. She thus climbed 8 positions in the WTA standings and is
now ranked 33rd.
Begu was born in Bucharest. She turned 32 on August 26. The win in Bucharest
marked the second WTA tournament won in 2022, after the one in Palermo in July.
It adds to the competitions won in Tashkent in 2012, in Seoul in 2015, in
Florianopolis in 2016, and in Bucharest in 2017. In doubles competitions, Irina
Begu has won nine trophies, in Hobart in 2012 alongside Monica Niculescu, in
's-Hertogenbosch in 2013 with Anabel Medina Garrigues, in 2014 in Rio de
Janeiro with Maria Irigoyen, then later that year in Seoul with Lara
Arruabarrena, and in 2017 in Bucharest, where she paired up with Raluca Olaru.
Also in 2017 she won the trophy in Tianjin together with Sara Errani. In 2018,
Begu won another two WTA doubles titles, in Shenzhen with Simona Halep, and in
Bucharest with Andreea Mitu. Her last doubles trophy was won in 2019 at the
Thailand Open, alongside Monica Niculescu. (VP)