The player who hits impenetrable winners with a relentless force won the Roland Garros Grand Slam title this year after three Grand Slam finals: two at Roland Garros in 2014 and 2017 and one at the Australian Open this year. From the shores of the Black Sea to the heart of Paris, Simona has followed an incredible path in her career, with years of intensive training and dedication that have shaped her into the greatest women’s tennis player in the world.
“I don’t know exactly what age I was, I was going to tournaments and I was ashamed to warm myself up before the matches,” said Simona. “I was warming myself up in a corner or behind a building. I was a very shy child. The difference was in the attitude, the girls coming from the larger countries were more confident, more relaxed and accustomed to all sorts of things. In the early stages of my career, I was more restrained and took some time to get used to it.”
Simona began playing tennis when she was 4 years old, being trained by her older brother and at the age of six she was already practicing every day. She moved to Bucharest when she was 16 years old to continue her tennis career with Justine Henin and Andrei Pavel as role models.
The first significant victory came in 2008 with a junior semi-final at the Australian Open and in May 2008, she won two junior tournaments: ITF 10,000 in Bucharest and the Trofeo Bonfiglio tournament. Four months before turning 18, Simona climbed to the highest level in the Junior world rankings with the Roland Garros junior title.
“I’m maturing, I’m no longer a child. I’m 27 years old and I’ve been through a lot in all these years. I feel ready for life. My trust in myself increased, so I started to be different. We all change with the passing of years. I cannot stay the same as a few years ago, especially since I am very eager to learn. I always knew what I intended, I knew what I wanted to do with my life, but I had a few issues regarding the communication side. Now it’s easier for me and I’m trying to be even better. In the end, the meaning of life is to see how good you can be in all chapters. “
1st Grand Slam
At the third time of asking in Paris, Simona finally added a Grand Slam trophy to her cabinet. “I want to thank you all. It was awesome. In the last game I felt I could not breathe. I did everything I could. It’s amazing. I’ve dreamed of this moment since I started playing tennis. I’m very happy that it happened at Roland Garros. Paris is a special city for me.
“It’s an exciting time to make this speech as a winner. I wanted this title to be won here in France. Thank you all. I congratulate Sloane, she did great. I’m sure you will play many finals in the future. Thanks to Darren, thanks to everyone. I felt your support during these two weeks. I hope in the future to play at least one final here. Thank you all, see you next year,” said the World No.1 right after her triumph in Paris.