Tennis Prose



Pro Journey: Virginia Ruzici First & Last Matches

The Romanian turned pro in 1975 at age 20. Her best weapon was an explosive forehand strike which powered her success for twelve years on the women’s tour (377 match wins and 221 losses). Ruzici, once ranked 8 in the world (1979) won twelve career singles titles including the 1978 Roland Garros title, where she defeated the 1977 champion Mima Jausovec 62 62. Ruzici and Jausovec teamed together in 1978 to win the Roland Garros doubles title. Ruzici almost won the mixed title (with Patrice Dominguez) that same year, losing in the finals (to Slozil/Tomanova). In 1980, Ruzici lost the Roland Garros final to Chrissie Evert.

Ruzici was a consistent performer in the world’s top 20 from 1977 to 1983. One of her most memorable matches happened at Wimbledon in 1978. Ruzici lost in the quarterfinal to Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who supposedly had an injured ankle. The Australian’s wounded appendage caused her to collapse on court, which triggered her husband to rush to he court in aid of Goolagong. That action should have technically defaulted Goolagong from the contest. Goolagong, after the delay, eventually decided to resume play and Ruzici agreed to continue the duel which was ultimately won by Goolagong 75 63. Ruzici was highly praised for her sportsmanship.

Another notable aspect of the career of Ruzici is that she has been credited by Richard Williams for inspiring him to want to develop his daughters Venus and Serena into becoming tennis players. The elder Williams, by chance, saw Ruzici win a title in Salt Lake City on television, holding a check for approximately $25,000, and this somewhat ordinary achievement hatched a magnificent vision and dream inside Williams. The rest is history.

Virginia shared her first and last match memories…

First Match: “I really do not remember,  exactly… It must of been a tournament in the South of France …in Nice. But before going to play tournaments in the West countries, i played tournaments in Eastern Europe. I remember my first pro tournament won. It was in Florida in Tampa – I beat Maria Bueno in the finals. It was in 1975 maybe…”

Last Match: ” Unfortunately I don’t remember as it was of no importance to me….and in those days we did not celebrate or honor the end of a career, like today.” (Ruzici retired from pro tennis in 1987.)



1 comment

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 24, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Ruzici and Domingues lost the FO mixed doubles final 64 67 ret. Might have had MPs. That’s a rare achievement in the modern era, to win singles, doubles and mixed. Maybe Hingis did it?



Find it!

Copyright 2010
To top