The Roland Garros Grand Slam tournament is underway in Paris. Beyond the obvious prestige of this competition, this year the event has gained in importance, as the value of total winnings has gone up, standing at over 42 million euros.
For Romanian tennis, Roland Garros is the place where our players have grabbed some of their most notable performances over the years. In the 1970s, for instance, Ilie Nastase won the tournament twice. In 1970 he prevailed in the men’s doubles together with another Romanian, Ion Tiriac. In 1973, Nastase won the men’s singles after an outstanding run, without losing a single set. Ilie Nastase at the time was one of the players who dominated world tennis. Over August 23, 1973 and June 2, 1974 he was world no. 1 in the official standings of the Association of Tennis Professionals.
In the women’s competition, Florenta Mihai reached the women’s singles final in 1977. Another Romanian, Virginia Ruzici, won the women’s singles in 1978, as well as the doubles event that year, alongside Mima Jausovec of Yugoslavia.
Few notable performances followed after that period for Romanian athletes, a long break that ended with the rise of Simona Halep. In 2014 and 2017 Halep played the finals, while in 2018 she finally won the women’s singles against Sloane Stephens of the United States, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
(translated by: Vlad Palcu)