Irina Spîrlea

Last updated

Irina Spîrlea
Country (sports)Flag of Romania.svg  Romania
ResidenceRome, Italy
Born (1974-03-26) 26 March 1974 (age 45)
Bucharest, Romania
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Turned pro1990
Retired2000
PlaysRight-handed (one handed-backhand)
Prize money US$ 2,652,068
Singles
Career record291–189
Career titles4 WTA, 3 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 7 (13 October 1997)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open QF (1997)
French Open 4R (1994, 1996, 1997)
Wimbledon 4R (1997, 1998)
US Open SF (1997)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals SF (1997, 1998)
Doubles
Career record200–154
Career titles6 WTA, 5 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 16 (2 October 1995)

Irina Spîrlea (born 26 March 1974) is a retired tennis player from Romania who turned professional in 1990. She won four singles and six doubles titles during her career. Spîrlea reached her highest individual ranking on the WTA Tour on 13 October 1997, when she became number 7 in the world. She retired in 2000.

Contents

Personal life

Spîrlea married Massimiliano Pace, her former coach, in 2001, and has a son, Tommaso, born in 2002, as well as a younger daughter, Francesca. [1] [2]

Career

Irina Spîrlea is one of the more successful tennis players from Romania, being one of only three women to have reached the top 10 (the others being Virginia Ruzici and Simona Halep.) [3] Her best performance at a Grand Slam tournament was a semi-final at the US Open in 1997. She won the WTA's Newcomer of the Year award in 1994. [4]

In 1996 Spîrlea became the first player in the history of the Women's Tennis Association to receive a match default for conduct when she swore at an official in Italian during a match played in Palermo, Italy. [5] [6]

Spîrlea was involved in a bumping incident with Venus Williams during a changeover in the semifinals of the 1997 US Open. Spîrlea collided with Williams near the net post while changing ends, and did not move sideways. Spîrlea went on to lose the match 6–7, 6–4, 6–7 in a third-set tiebreak, after holding two match points, at 6–4 and 6–5 in the tie breaker. Williams' father accused Spîrlea of racism, and later called her "an ugly white turkey". [7] Spîrlea accused Williams of arrogance, saying in a press conference following the match, "I'm not going to move. She never tries to turn" [8] and "She thinks she's the fucking Venus Williams." [9] [7] Williams, however, shrugged off the confrontation saying "I thought we both weren't looking. I'm sorry she feels that way. It's not a big thing to me. No one said 'Excuse me'. [10]

WTA Tour finals

Singles: 10 (4–6)

Winner — Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
WTA Tour Championships (0–0)
Tier I (0–2)
Tier II (1–0)
Tier III, IV & V / International (3–4)
Titles by surface
Hard (0–2)
Grass (0–0)
Clay (4–3)
Carpet (0–1)
OutcomeNo.DateTournamentSurfaceOpponentScore
Runner-up1.27 September 1993 Sapporo Carpet (i) Flag of the United States.svg Linda Wild 4–6, 3–6
Runner-up2.25 April 1994 Taranto Clay Flag of France.svg Julie Halard-Decugis 2–6, 3–6
Winner1.4 July 1994 Palermo Clay Flag of the Netherlands.svg Brenda Schultz-McCarthy 6–4, 1–6, 7–6(7–5)
Runner-up3.2 January 1995 Jakarta Hard Flag of Germany.svg Sabine Hack 6–2, 6–7(6–8), 4–6
Winner2.10 July 1995 Palermo Clay Flag of Germany.svg Sabine Hack 7–6(7–1), 6–2
Winner3.8 April 1996 Amelia Island Clay Flag of France.svg Mary Pierce 6–7(7–9), 6–4, 6–3
Runner-up4.3 March 1997 Indian Wells Hard Flag of the United States.svg Lindsay Davenport 2–6, 1–6
Runner-up5.30 March 1998 Hilton Head Island Clay Flag of South Africa.svg Amanda Coetzer 3–6, 4–6
Winner4.18 May 1998 Strasbourg Clay Flag of France.svg Julie Halard-Decugis 7–6(7–5), 6–3
Runner-up6.19 April 1999 Cairo Clay Flag of Spain.svg Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 1–6, 0–6

Doubles: 13 (6–7)

Winner — Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
WTA Tour Championships (0–0)
Tier I (1–1)
Tier II (2–2)
Tier III, IV & V / International (3–4)
Titles by Surface
Hard (1–1)
Grass (0–0)
Clay (2–3)
Carpet (3–3)
OutcomeNo.DateTournamentSurfacePartnerOpponentsScore
Winner1.25 April 1994 Taranto Clay Flag of France.svg Noëlle van Lottum Flag of Italy.svg Sandra Cecchini
Flag of France.svg Isabelle Demongeot
6–3, 2–6, 6–1
Winner2.2 January 1995 Jakarta Hard Flag of Germany.svg Claudia Porwik Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Laurence Courtois
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Nancy Feber
6–2, 6–3
Runner-up124 April 1995 Zagreb Clay Flag of Italy.svg Laura Golarsa Flag of Argentina.svg Mercedes Paz
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Rene Simpson
5–7, 2–6
Runner-up2.29 January 1996 Tokyo Carpet (i) Flag of South Africa.svg Mariaan de Swardt Flag of the United States.svg Gigi Fernández
Flag of Belarus.svg Natasha Zvereva
6–7(7–9), 3–6
Winner3.6 May 1996 Rome Clay Flag of Spain.svg Arantxa Sánchez Vicario Flag of the United States.svg Gigi Fernández
Flag of Switzerland.svg Martina Hingis
6–4, 3–6, 6–3
Runner-up3.4 November 1996 Oakland Carpet (i) Flag of France.svg Nathalie Tauziat Flag of the United States.svg Lindsay Davenport
Flag of the United States.svg Mary Joe Fernández
1–6, 3–6
Runner-up4.19 May 1997 Madrid Clay Flag of Argentina.svg Inés Gorrochategui Flag of the United States.svg Mary Joe Fernández
Flag of Spain.svg Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
3–6, 2–6
Runner-up5.2 November 1998 Leipzig Carpet (i) Flag of the Netherlands.svg Manon Bollegraf Elena Likhovtseva
Flag of Japan.svg Ai Sugiyama
3–6, 7–6(7–2), 1–6
Runner-up6.4 January 1999 Gold Coast Hard Flag of Australia (converted).svg Kristine Kunce Flag of Romania.svg Corina Morariu
Flag of Latvia.svg Larisa Neiland
3–6, 3–6
Winner4.22 February 1999 Paris Carpet (i) Flag of the Netherlands.svg Caroline Vis Flag of Russia.svg Elena Likhovtseva
Flag of Japan.svg Ai Sugiyama
7–5, 3–6, 6–3
Runner-up7.19 April 1999 Cairo Clay Flag of the Netherlands.svg Caroline Vis Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Laurence Courtois
Flag of Spain.svg Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
7–5, 1–6, 6–7(7–9)
Winner5.20 September 1999 Luxembourg Carpet (i) Flag of the Netherlands.svg Caroline Vis Flag of Slovenia.svg Tina Križan
Flag of Slovenia.svg Katarina Srebotnik
6–1, 6–2
Winner6.25 October 1999 Linz Carpet (i) Flag of the Netherlands.svg Caroline Vis Flag of Slovenia.svg Tina Križan
Flag of Latvia.svg Larisa Neiland
6–4, 6–3

ITF Circuit finals

Legend
$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments

Singles

ResultNo.DateTournamentSurfaceOpponentScore
Runner-up1.24 September 1990 Mali Lošinj, YugoslaviaClay Flag of Romania.svg Ruxandra Dragomir 3–6, 1–6
Winner2.3 June 1991 Milan, ItalyClay Flag of France.svg Agnès Zugasti 6–4, 7–5
Winner3.3 February 1992 Jakarta, IndonesiaClay Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Ann Devries 6–3, 6–2
Winner4.14 June 1993 Brindisi, ItalyClay Flag of the Netherlands.svg Petra Kamstra 6–1, 5–7, 6–3

Doubles

ResultNo.DateTournamentSurfacePartnerOpponentsScore
Runner-up1.13 August 1990 Rebecq, BelgiumClay Flag of Romania.svg Ruxandra Dragomir Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Els Callens
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Caroline Wuillot
4–6, 2–6
Winner2.20 August 1990 Koksijde, BelgiumClay Flag of Romania.svg Ruxandra Dragomir Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg Erda Crous
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Lucie Ludvigová
6–1, 2–6, 6–3
Winner3.17 September 1990 Rabac, YugoslaviaClay Flag of Romania.svg Ruxandra Dragomir Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Katarína Studeníková
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Gabriela Vesela
1–6, 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up4.24 September 1990 Mali Lošinj, YugoslaviaClay Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Anna Mirza Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Eva Martincová
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Zdeňka Málková
1–6, 1–6
Winner5.8 October 1990 Bol, CroatiaClay Flag of Poland.svg Magdalena Feistel Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Zdeňka Málková
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Eva Martincová
4–6, 6–3, 6–1
Runner-up6.29 May 1991 Brindisi, ItalyClay Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Katarína Studeníková Flag of Uruguay.svg Patricia Miller
Flag of Argentina.svg Inés Gorrochategui
1–6, 6–7
Runner-up7.29 July 1991 Rheda-Wiedenbrück, GermanyClay Flag of Germany.svg Meike Babel Flag of Sweden.svg Catarina Bernstein
Flag of Sweden.svg Annika Narbe
4–6, 5–7
Runner-up8.12 August 1991 Pisticci, ItalyHard Flag of Romania.svg Ruxandra Dragomir Flag of Australia (converted).svg Justine Hodder
Flag of Croatia.svg Maja Murić
4–6, 6–3, 3–6
Runner-up9.3 February 1992 Jakarta, IndonesiaClay Flag of Romania.svg Ruxandra Dragomir Flag of Australia (converted).svg Nicole Pratt
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Angie Woolcock
1–6, 0–6
Winner10.28 September 1992 Santa Maria Capua Vetere, ItalyClay Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Ann Devries Flag of Italy.svg Ginevra Mugnaini
Flag of Romania.svg Andreea Ehritt-Vanc
6–0, 6–0
Runner-up11.22 November 1992 Nottingham, United KingdomCarpet (i) Flag of Romania.svg Ruxandra Dragomir Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Els Callens
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Elena Pampoulova
6–7(3–7), 4–6
Winner12.30 November 1992 Le Havre, FranceClay Flag of Romania.svg Ruxandra Dragomir Flag of Germany.svg Angela Kerek
Flag of Germany.svg Sabine Lohmann
6–3, 7–6
Runner-up13.14 June 1993 Brindisi, ItalyClay Flag of Germany.svg Angela Kerek Flag of the Netherlands.svg Lara Bitter
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Petra Kamstra
5–7, 6–4, 2–6

Grand Slam singles performance timeline

Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 SRW–LW%
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian OpenAAAA 1R 4R 2R QF 1R 1R 1R 0 / 78–7
French OpenAA 1R A 4R 3R 4R 4R 1R 3R 1R 0 / 813–8
Wimbledon AAAA 2R 3R 2R 4R 4R 1R 1R 0 / 710–7
US Open AA Q1 A 1R 1R 3R SF 4R 3R A0 / 612–6
Win–Loss0–00–00–10–04–47–47–415–46–44–40–30 / 2843–28
Year-End Championships
Tour Championships AAAAAA 1R SF SF AA0 / 34–3
Tier I Tournaments
Tokyo Tier IIAAA 2R 2R QF AA0 / 34–3
Chicago ATier IINot Held0 / 00–00%
Boca Raton Tier IIAATier IINot Held0 / 10–1
Indian Wells Tier II F 3R 2R 2R 0 / 58–5
Miami AAAA 1R 2R QF QF 2R 2R 2R 0 / 78–7
Charleston AAAA 1R 3R QF 3R F 2R A0 / 611–6
Berlin AAAAA SF A 3R QF 1R 1F 0 / 57–5
Rome AA Q1 A SF 3R SF QF 3R 3R 1R 0 / 815–8
Montreal / Toronto AAAAAA 1R 1R 3R 1R A0 / 41–4
Moscow Tier VNot HeldTier III QF 1R AA0 / 21–2
Zürich Tier IIAA 1R 2R 2R SF 2R A0 / 56–5
Philadelphia NHTier IIAA QF Tier II0 / 45–4
Career Statistics
Year-End Ranking3102081646343211081535167

Record against other top players

Spîrlea's win-loss record against certain players who have been ranked World No. 10 or higher is as follows:

Players who have been ranked World No. 1 are in boldface.

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References

  1. Article in Romanian Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Article in Romanian
  3. Article in Romanian Archived 12 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. The Enquirer – This article is no longer available
  5. CNN/SI – US Open Player Profiles
  6. 1 2 sportsillustrated.cnn.com
  7. telegraph.co.uk
  8. Harris, Cecil (1 February 2020). Different Strokes: Serena, Venus, and the Unfinished Black Tennis Revolution. U of Nebraska Press. ISBN   978-1-4962-1465-2.
  9. Father of tennis star Venus Williams charges racism during recent U.S. Open – Richard Williams|Jet|Find Articles at BNET.com
Preceded by
Iva Majoli
WTA Newcomer of the Year
1994
Succeeded by
Martina Hingis