Irina Sp%C3%AErlea
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Irina Sp%C3%AErlea

Irina Spîrlea
Country (sports) Romania
ResidenceRome, Italy
Born (1974-03-26) 26 March 1974 (age 47)
Bucharest, Romania
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Turned pro1990
Retired2000
PlaysRight-handed (one handed-backhand)
Prize moneyUS$ 2,652,068
Singles
Career record291-189
Career titles4 WTA, 3 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 7 (13 October 1997)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenQF (1997)
French Open4R (1994, 1996, 1997)
Wimbledon4R (1997, 1998)
US OpenSF (1997)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsSF (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. Spîrlea reached her career-high ranking on the WTA Tour on 13 October 1997, when she became No. 7 in the world. She retired in 2000.

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 semifinal at the US Open in 1997. She won the WTA 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 (...) She thinks she's the fucking Venus Williams."[8][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 career finals

Singles: 10 (4 titles, 6 runner-ups)

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0-0)
Tier I (0-2)
Tier II (1-0)
Tier III, IV & V (3-4)
Titles by surface
Hard (0-2)
Grass (0-0)
Clay (4-3)
Carpet (0-1)
Result No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1. Sep 1993 Sapporo, Japan Carpet (i) United States Linda Wild 4-6, 3-6
Loss 2. Apr 1994 Taranto Trophy, Italy Clay France Julie Halard-Decugis 2-6, 3-6
Win 1. Jul 1994 Palermo International, Italy Clay Netherlands Brenda Schultz-McCarthy 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(7-5)
Loss 3. Jan 1995 Jakarta Open, Indonesia Hard Germany Sabine Hack 6-2, 6-7(6-8), 4-6
Win 2. Jul 1995 Palermo International, Italy Clay Germany Sabine Hack 7-6(7-1), 6-2
Win 3. Apr 1996 Amelia Island Championships, U.S. Clay France Mary Pierce 6-7(7-9), 6-4, 6-3
Loss 4. Mar 1997 Indian Wells Masters, U.S. Hard United States Lindsay Davenport 2-6, 1-6
Loss 5. Mar 1998 Family Circle Cup, U.S. Clay South Africa Amanda Coetzer 3-6, 4-6
Win 4. May 1998 Internationaux de Strasbourg, France Clay France Julie Halard-Decugis 7-6(7-5), 6-3
Loss 6. Apr 1999 Egypt Classic Clay Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 1-6, 0-6

Doubles: 13 (6 titles, 7 runner-ups)

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0-0)
Tier I (1-1)
Tier II (2-2)
Tier III, IV & V (3-4)
Titles by surface
Hard (1-1)
Grass (0-0)
Clay (2-3)
Carpet (3-3)
Result No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1. Apr 1994 Taranto Trophy, Italy Clay France Noëlle van Lottum Italy Sandra Cecchini
France Isabelle Demongeot
6-3, 2-6, 6-1
Win 2. Jan 1995 Jakarta Open, Indonesia Hard Germany Claudia Porwik Belgium Laurence Courtois
Belgium Nancy Feber
6-2, 6-3
Loss 1 Apr 1995 Bol Ladies Open, Croatia Clay Italy Laura Golarsa Argentina Mercedes Paz
Canada Rene Simpson
5-7, 2-6
Loss 2. Jan 1996 Pan Pacific Open, Japan Carpet (i) South Africa Mariaan de Swardt United States Gigi Fernández
Belarus Natasha Zvereva
6-7(7-9), 3-6
Win 3. May 1996 Italian Open Clay Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario United States Gigi Fernández
Switzerland Martina Hingis
6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Loss 3. Nov 1996 Bank of the West Classic, U.S. Carpet (i) France Nathalie Tauziat United States Lindsay Davenport
United States Mary Joe Fernández
1-6, 3-6
Loss 4. May 1997 Madrid Open, Spain Clay Argentina Inés Gorrochategui United States Mary Joe Fernández
Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
3-6, 2-6
Loss 5. Nov 1998 Sparkassen Cup Leipzig, Germany Carpet (i) Netherlands Manon Bollegraf Russia Elena Likhovtseva
Japan Ai Sugiyama
3-6, 7-6(7-2), 1-6
Loss 6. Jan 1999 Brisbane International, Australia Hard Australia Kristine Kunce Romania Corina Morariu
Latvia Larisa Neiland
3-6, 3-6
Win 4. Feb 1999 Paris Indoor, France Carpet (i) Netherlands Caroline Vis Russia Elena Likhovtseva
Japan Ai Sugiyama
7-5, 3-6, 6-3
Loss 7. Apr 1999 Egypt Classic Clay Netherlands Caroline Vis Belgium Laurence Courtois
Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
7-5, 1-6, 6-7(7-9)
Win 5. Sep 1999 Luxembourg Open Carpet (i) Netherlands Caroline Vis Slovenia Tina Kri?an
Slovenia Katarina Srebotnik
6-1, 6-2
Win 6. Oct 1999 Generali Ladies Linz, Austria Carpet (i) Netherlands Caroline Vis Slovenia Tina Kri?an
Latvia 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 (3-1)

Result No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1. 24 September 1990 Mali Lo?inj, Yugoslavia Clay Romania Ruxandra Dragomir 3-6, 1-6
Winner 2. 3 June 1991 Milan, Italy Clay France Agnès Zugasti 6-4, 7-5
Winner 3. 3 February 1992 Jakarta, Indonesia Clay Belgium Ann Devries 6-3, 6-2
Winner 4. 14 June 1993 Brindisi, Italy Clay Netherlands Petra Kamstra 6-1, 5-7, 6-3

Doubles (5-8)

Result No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1. 13 August 1990 Rebecq, Belgium Clay Romania Ruxandra Dragomir Belgium Els Callens
Belgium Caroline Wuillot
4-6, 2-6
Winner 2. 20 August 1990 Koksijde, Belgium Clay Romania Ruxandra Dragomir South Africa Erda Crous
Czechoslovakia Lucie Ludvigová
6-1, 2-6, 6-3
Winner 3. 17 September 1990 Rabac, Yugoslavia Clay Romania Ruxandra Dragomir Czechoslovakia Katarína Studeníková
Czechoslovakia Gabriela Vesela
1-6, 6-3, 6-4
Runner-up 4. 24 September 1990 Mali Lo?inj, Yugoslavia Clay Soviet Union Anna Mirza Czechoslovakia Eva Martincová
Czechoslovakia Zde?ka Málková
1-6, 1-6
Winner 5. 8 October 1990 Bol, Croatia Clay Poland Magdalena Feistel Czechoslovakia Eva Martincová
Czechoslovakia Zde?ka Málková
4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Runner-up 6. 29 May 1991 Brindisi, Italy Clay Czechoslovakia Katarína Studeníková Uruguay Patricia Miller
Argentina Inés Gorrochategui
1-6, 6-7
Runner-up 7. 29 July 1991 Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany Clay Germany Meike Babel Sweden Catarina Bernstein
Sweden Annika Narbe
4-6, 5-7
Runner-up 8. 12 August 1991 Pisticci, Italy Hard Romania Ruxandra Dragomir Australia Justine Hodder
Croatia Maja Muri?
4-6, 6-3, 3-6
Runner-up 9. 3 February 1992 Jakarta, Indonesia Clay Romania Ruxandra Dragomir Australia Nicole Pratt
Australia Angie Woolcock
1-6, 0-6
Winner 10. 28 September 1992 Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Italy Clay Belgium Ann Devries Italy Ginevra Mugnaini
Romania Andreea Ehritt-Vanc
6-0, 6-0
Runner-up 11. 22 November 1992 Nottingham, United Kingdom Carpet (i) Romania Ruxandra Dragomir Belgium Els Callens
Bulgaria Elena Pampoulova
6-7(3-7), 4-6
Winner 12. 30 November 1992 Le Havre, France Clay Romania Ruxandra Dragomir Germany Angela Kerek
Germany Sabine Lohmann
6-3, 7-6
Runner-up 13. 14 June 1993 Brindisi, Italy Clay Germany Angela Kerek Netherlands Lara Bitter
Netherlands Petra Kamstra
5-7, 6-4, 2-6

Singles performance timeline

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 SR W-L W%
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A A A A 1R 4R 2R QF 1R 1R 1R 0 / 7 8-7 53%
French Open A A 1R A 4R 3R 4R 4R 1R 3R 1R 0 / 8 13-8 62%
Wimbledon A A A A 2R 3R 2R 4R 4R 1R 1R 0 / 7 10-7 59%
US Open A A Q1 A 1R 1R 3R SF 4R 3R A 0 / 6 12-6 67%
Win-Loss 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 4-4 7-4 7-4 15-4 6-4 4-4 0-3 0 / 28 43-28 61%
Year-End Championships
Tour Championships A A A A A A 1R SF SF A A 0 / 3 4-3 57%
Tier I tournaments
Tokyo Tier II A A A 2R 2R QF A A 0 / 3 4-3 57%
Chicago A Tier II Not Held 0 / 0 0-0 0%
Boca Raton Tier II A A Tier II Not Held 0 / 1 0-1 0%
Indian Wells Tier II F 3R 2R 2R 0 / 5 8-5 62%
Miami A A A A 1R 2R QF QF 2R 2R 2R 0 / 7 8-7 53%
Charleston A A A A 1R 3R QF 3R F 2R A 0 / 6 11-6 65%
Berlin A A A A A SF A 3R QF 1R 1F 0 / 5 7-5 58%
Rome A A Q1 A SF 3R SF QF 3R 3R 1R 0 / 8 15-8 65%
Montreal / Toronto A A A A A A 1R 1R 3R 1R A 0 / 4 1-4 20%
Moscow Tier V Not Held Tier III QF 1R A A 0 / 2 1-2 33%
Zürich Tier II A A 1R 2R 2R SF 2R A 0 / 5 6-5 55%
Philadelphia NH Tier II A A QF Tier II 0 / 4 5-4 56%
Career statistics
Year-End Ranking 310 208 164 63 43 21 10 8 15 35 167

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.

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. ^ [1]
  5. ^ The Enquirer - This article is no longer available
  6. ^ CNN/SI - US Open Player Profiles
  7. ^ a b sportsillustrated.cnn.com
  8. ^ telegraph.co.uk
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Father of tennis star Venus Williams charges racism during recent U.S. Open - Richard Williams|Jet|Find Articles at BNET.com

External links

Preceded by
Iva Majoli
WTA Newcomer of the Year
1994
Succeeded by
Martina Hingis

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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