Simona Halep contributed to Romania's 3-2 win in the Fed Cup match against the Czech Republic
The Romanian women's Fed Cup team this weekend
obtained one of its biggest results in the last 50 years. Florin Segarceanu's
trainees qualified to the Fed Cup semi-finals, after winning 3-2 against the
Czech Republic away from home. The only time Romania reached as far as the
semi-finals of this international competition was in 1973, when the tournament
was called the Federation Cup. Back then, Virginia Ruzici, Mariana Simionescu
and Judith Gohn knocked out Brazil, Sweden and Great Britain as part of a
32-country tournament held in Bad Homburg, in the Federal Republic of Germany.
In the semi-finals however Romania lost to South Africa.
Now, in Ostrava, Romania's team was made up of
Simona Halep, Mihaela Buzarnescu, Irina Begu and Monica Niculescu. Simona and
Mihaela played the singles matches, while Irina and Monica the doubles game. Two
of the three points for Romania were grabbed by Simona Halep, which is why we
have designated her Athlete of the Week on RRI.
Simona Halep is currently ranked 3rd
in WTA singles rankings, after topping the tables for 64 weeks. Throughout her
career she won 18 WTA tournaments, including a major, last year in Roland
Garros. Born September 27, 1991 in Constanta, Simona Halep made her debut in
2006, the year she also won her first ITF tournaments. In 2010 she was ranked
among the Top 100 players in the world. In 2014, in August, she was ranked 2nd,
the highest position ever achieved by a Romanian tennis player. In October 2017
she became world number one, a position she kept until January 2018. She
returned to the top of the WTA standings later that year in February, and
remained world leader until last month, when Naomi Osaka become world number one
after winning the Australian Open.