Ilie Nastase-Ion Tiriac
Romanians are known as passionate people. None seem to show more passion than Ilie Nastasie and Ion Tiriac. Both are more than willing to speak their mind, with no regard for the repercussions.
Ion Tiriac was born May 5th, 1939. Growing up playing ice hockey and tennis, tennis became his outlet to the world. It gave him freedom. In 1970 he won the French Open doubles title with Ilie Nastase. Watching Tiriac, I always thought of him as a player that used 100% of his ability. He was not nearly as physically talented as Nastasie, but mentally, there were few players that were as wile. Ilie Nastaste was born July 19th,1946. He was one of the most physically talented players on the tour. Nastase turned pro in 1969 and won 58 career titles. I always thought if he had had Tiriac’s mental ability, he would have been at the top for a long time.
Recently Nastase has come under suspension by the ITF for untoward remarks that were outside the lines of sportsmanship. Because of this he has been denied a seat at the French Open and Wimbledon and seems on the edge of having his name withdrawn from the Hall of Fame. In spite of this he did show up at the Madrid Open and even presented the trophy to the winner, Simona Halep, also Rumanian. Halep did not seem to have any problem with Nastasie presenting her the trophy, but the head of the WTA, Steve Simon did. Nastase came under fire for being allowed to attend the Madrid event. However, his long time friend, Ion Tiriac, came to his aid and called for the WTA to apologize for their criticism of Nastase.
If you were in a position of authority in this matter how would you deal with it. Would you criticize Nastase attending and presenting the winner’s trophy, as did the WTA, or would you take the other side – he should not have been allowed to attend, and Ion Tiriac should certainly not have demanded the WTA apologize.