Simona Halep: Ion Tiriac, coach, Federer fan, 10 questions you may ask about the Romanian

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Two-time Grand Slam champion, Simona Halep is one of the biggest stars in Romania. Here is all you need to know about her.

You can follow Simona Halep on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

When was Simona Halep born?

Simona Halep was born on September 27 1991, in Constanta, Romania, the country’s fifth-most populated city. She still lives there.

Where does she come from?

Halep is Romanian. Her father Stere played football in Romania’s amateur divisions. Halep has a brother, Nicolae, who is five years older than her. She played a pivotal role in Romania climbing to the Fed Cup’s World Group, actively participating in two promotions. Halep guided her national team to the 2019 Fed Cup semi-finals, where she lost the decisive doubles rubber against France’s Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic. She was teamed up with Monica Niculescu.

Simona Halep's after Romania's loss in 2019 Fed Cup semi-final against France

Simona Halep’s after Romania’s loss in 2019 Fed Cup semi-final against France

How tall is she?

Halep’s height is 5’6” (168cm), according to her profile on the WTA official website.

Who is Simona Halep’s boyfriend?

Halep has been publicly dating Toni Iuruc since the end of 2019. Iuruc is a Macedonian billionaire who owns several companies in Romania. The player isn’t shy about his relationship on social media and talked about it on Romanian public channel TVR1. “Now I am more relaxed and open. I have a dear person. We have a normal relationship, I feel very well. But I would like it to stay personal. I belong to Romania when it’s about tennis. Love and tennis can coincide, but I think personal life is the most important one. I am dating someone and I would never be able to sacrifice my family for tennis.” Halep denied a rumor stating that the couple would already be engaged and that a date would be set for the wedding.

 

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Romanian media previously speculated she was dating Romanian sportsmen, such as football player Radu Barbu, a former U21 international, or tennis player Horia Tecau, a two-time men’s doubles Grand Slam winner with Jean-Julien Rojer and Wimbledon mixed doubles champion with Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Who is Simona Halep’s coach?

Darren Cahill returned to Simona Halep’s staff in autumn 2019. A former top 25 player, he had made a first stunt as her coach in 2016, helping her to her first Grand Slam (2018 French Open) and two consecutive year-end No. 1 finishes. The pair split by the end of 2018 as Cahill expressed his desire to spend more time with his family. During the 2019 season, Halep hired Daniel Dobre, mentored by Günther Bosch, the former coach of Boris Becker. She then announced Cahill’s return. In the past, Halep was coached by Ioan Stan, Adrian Marcu (former Top 200), Wim Fissette (former coach of Kim Clijsters) and Victor Ionita (another ex-top 200 player). Her co-coach is Artemon-Apostu Efremov.

Simona Halep with coach Darren Cahill during 2018 Australian Open

Simona Halep with coach Darren Cahill during 2018 Australian Open

When did she begin playing tennis?

Halep began playing tennis at four years old, following his brother to a training session. At first, she’d train twice a week with Ioan Stan, before training every day from the age of 6. She left Constanta for Bucharest at 16. She won the Girls’ French Open in 2008, her lone Grand Slam junior title. This trophy propelled her to the junior world No. 1 ranking. She is a Justine Henin and Roger Federer fan.

Who is Simona Halep’s agent?

Halep’s career has been managed by Virginia Ruzici since 2008. She became the first Grand Slam champion from Romania at the 1978 French Open. She also won the women’s doubles tournament at Roland-Garros that same year, partnering up with none other than Mima Jausovec… the very player she beat in the singles’ final! Ruzici, who won 12 titles in her career, was ranked 8th at her best, in May 1979.

Who is Ion Tiriac, her mentor?

A ice hockey Romanian Olympic team player in 1964, Tiriac is also a former pro tennis player (world No.8 after a quarter-final showing at the 1968 French Open) and is now the Romanian tennis Federation president. Tiriac became the third-richest person in Romania, according to Forbes, developing successful businesses. He got close to Halep in 2014. Tiriac has also been managing Lucas Pouille’s interests since 2016.

Simona Halep with mentor Ion Tiriac during 2019 US Open

Simona Halep with mentor Ion Tiriac during 2019 US Open

When did Simona Halep have a breast reduction?

Halep admitted she had a breast reduction in 2009. In a Sports Illustrated interview before the 2018 French Open, she pointed at this event as her biggest sacrifice in life to eventually become world No.1. “When I did it, I did it for tennis.” She previously said that this operation helped her gain “ability to react quickly” on court.

What is Simona Halep’s net worth?

Simona Halep won about 36.5 million dollars (about 31 million pounds) in prize money since her pro debut. She was ranked 4th in the last Forbes ranking for best-paid women athletes between June 2018 and June 2019, with 10.2 million dollars (approx. 8.6 million pounds), divided in 6.2 millions from tournaments and 4 millions from endorsements. She is currently under contract with Nike (1.7 million-dollar deal), Wilson, Mercedes Benz or Hublot. Halep has been selected by Forbes in its annual “30 Under 30 Europe” list, in the “Sports and Games” category. Halep has been chosen in particular for his real estate interest, with her investment in an hotel in Poiana Brasov, one of the most popular skiing resorts in Romania.

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