Tennis Prose



Facing Greatness: Virginia Ruzici

The former Roland Garros champion of 1978 and winner of 12 WTA singles (and 16 doubes) titles in her career, Virgina Ruzici contemplates the question: What were the two best match performances that you ever saw played against you during your pro career?

Virginia Ruzici: “I had a few memorable matches indeed… against legends like Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Virginia Wade, Tracy Austin, Andrea Jeager  or Hana Mandlikova, etc.”

“Chris destroyed me (by the score of 06 36) in the finals of Roland Garros in 1980. She also beat me at Wimbledon in a tough match after I was up a set and a break. I do not remember the year. Tracy Austin beat me 7-6 in the third in a match in New Jersey/WTA Championships Championships.
Navratilova saved a match point against me in Dallas on fast carpet, to win 7-5 in the third.”

Ruzici turned pro in 1975 and retired in 1987. She achieved a best WTA ranking of no. 8 in May 1979. Her highlight year came in 1978 as she won Roland Garros singles crown, doubles with Mimi Jausovec and made the finals of mixed doubles with Patrice Dominguez (64 67 ret.). Ruzici and Jausovec also lost in the Wimbledon doubles final in 1978.

Ruzici is also widely credited during TV tennis commentaries for her victory in June of 1980 at a tournament in Utah (she defeated Ivanna Madruga in the final 61 63), which legend has it, was viewed on TV by a man named Richard Williams, who was so inspired by her triumph and prize money check, he later would begin to teach his daughters Venus and Serena to play tennis. Venus was born in June 1980, Serena was born in September 1981.

Today, Virginia lives in Paris, France and is the manager of Romanian Simona Halep.

BONUS QUESTION: Is there anyone you didn’t get to play in your career that you would have liked to?

Virginia: Haha… Goolagong on clay. I lost to her at Wimbledon and Fed Cup on carpet.

(Note: At Wimbledon 1978, Ruzici lost a notable match in the quarterfinal to the Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who was playing with an injured ankle. Goolagong’s injury led to her collapsing on court and her husband, Roger Cawley, came on to the court to aid his wife, technically defaulting the Australian from the match. When Goolagong recovered, Ruzici agreed to continue the match, but lost 7–5, 6–3 and was praised for her sportsmanship. From wikipedia.)


Comments are closed.



Find it!

Copyright 2010
To top