Ion Țiriac (Romanian pronunciation: [iˈon t͡siriˈak]; born 9 May 1939), also known as the 'Brașov Bulldozer' is a Romanian businessman and former professional tennis and ice hockey player. He is the current president of the Romanian Tennis Federation.
|Born||9 May 1939|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Turned pro||1968 (amateur tour from 1962)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Int. Tennis HoF||2013 (member page)|
|Highest ranking||No. 8 (1968, World's Top 10)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||2R (1977Jan)|
|French Open||QF (1968)|
|Wimbledon||4R (1967, 1972)|
|US Open||3R (1973)|
|Highest ranking||No. 19 (9 April 1979)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||2R (1977Jan)|
|French Open||W (1970)|
|Davis Cup||F (1969Ch, 1971Ch, 1972)|
A former singles top 10 player on the ATP Tour, he is the winner of one grand slam title, the 1970 French Open in men's doubles. Țiriac was the first man to play against a woman in a sanctioned tennis tournament (against Abigail Maynard, in 1975). The highlight of his ice hockey career was participating as defenseman in the Romanian national team at the 1964 Winter Olympics.
After retirement, he became active as a tennis coach, advisor and player agent in the 1980s, taking under his wing Ilie Năstase, Manuel Orantes, Adriano Panatta, Guillermo Vilas, Henri Leconte and the young Boris Becker. Later, Țiriac developed the Mutua Madrid Open ATP masters tennis tournament, which he owns. In 2013, he was elected as contributor into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He has currently been managing French tennis player Lucas Pouille since December 2016.
As a tennis player he played dramatic 5 setters against Rod Laver, Stan Smith, Jan Kodeš or Manuel Orantes. His singles record includes wins over Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Roscoe Tanner, Manuel Orantes, Andrés Gimeno, Adriano Panatta or Niki Pilić. He never won against compatriot Ilie Năstase in their six meetings. He played 3 Davis Cup finals (in 1969, 1971 and 1972).
Țiriac was born in Transylvania, which is probably the reason why he has the nickname 'Count Dracula'. He first appeared on the international sports scene as a child ping pong champion, then subsequently as an ice hockey player on the Romanian national team at the 1964 Winter Olympics. Shortly after that he switched to tennis as his main sport. With fellow Romanian Ilie Năstase he won the men's doubles in the 1970 French Open and reached the Davis Cup finals several times in the 1970s.
John McPhee wrote of him that his drooping mustache suggests "that this man has been to places most people do not imagine exist. He appears to be a panatela ad, a triple agent from Alexandria, a used-car salesman from central Marrakesh. Tiriac has the air of a man who is about to close a deal in a back room behind a back room."
Țiriac participated in the short period during the 1970s when women dabbled as coeds in established men's tennis tournaments. In his first match he defeated Abigail Maynard 6–0, 6–0 in their round one match at USTA pro circuit's Fairfiled County International Tennis Championship. It was the first time ever a female had entered a men’s tournament.
Țiriac ran major men's events in Germany, including the season-ending championships in Hanover. Although tennis is now a much smaller part of his portfolio and occupies only 5 percent of his time, he has taken particular pleasure and pride in making Madrid Tennis Open a combined men's and women's event with €7.2 million in total prize money. The trophy awarded to the tournament winner bears his name.
Țiriac also holds the license for the BRD Năstase Țiriac Trophy tennis tournament since 1996. It is currently a €450,000 event, part of the ATP World Tour 250 series, held annually in Bucharest, Romania, just 2 weeks before the Madrid Open.
On 13 July 2013 he joined the International Tennis Hall of Fame as a successful promoter and tournament director for numerous events including the two of the largest Masters 1000 events, the Italian Open and the Madrid Masters.
After his retirement as a professional tennis player, Țiriac became a businessman in (then West) Germany. In 1987, he appeared in a TV commercial for Miller Lite beer with Bob Uecker, who extols Țiriac's supposed humorous qualities, laughing hysterically while Țiriac sits stone-faced.
Following the collapse of communism in Romania, he started numerous businesses and investments back home. In 1990, he founded Banca Țiriac, the first private bank in post-Communist Romania. Between that and several other enterprises (retail, insurance, auto leasing, auto dealerships, airlines, etc.), his fortune was estimated at over US$900 million in 2005.
Țiriac is an avid car collector. The Tiriac Collection represents the exhibition of cars and motorcycles under his ownership. Reopened to the public in May 2015, the collection includes historical vehicles manufactured since 1899 and also modern exotics with about 350 cars and 165 cars at full time display on a rotation basis. Visitors will find the only collection in the world with 2 Rolls-Royce Phantoms IV, as well as exhibits that previously belonged to great names such as Sir Elton John, Sammy Davis Jr. or Bernie Ecclestone.
In 2006, Tiriac was selected as one of the 100 Greatest Romanians, ranking #77.
Ion Țiriac became the first Romanian to enter Forbes' List of billionaires in the 2007 Forbes rankings, ranking 840th in the world. His wealth was estimated at $1.0 billion as of 2010, according to the magazine. In 2010, TOP 300 Capital declared Ion Țiriac the richest man in Romania with a wealth estimated at €1.5–€1.6 billion ($2–$2.2 billion).
In 2018, Ion Tiriac ranked #1867 on the Forbes World's Billionaires list, with wealth listed at US $1.2 billion.
Grand Slam finalsEdit
Doubles 2 (1–1)Edit
|1966||Runner-up||French Championships||Ilie Năstase|| Dennis Ralston
|3–6, 3–6, 0–6|
|1970||Winner||French Open||Ilie Năstase|| Arthur Ashe
|6–2, 6–4, 6–3|
Grand Prix and WCT Tour finals 46 (22–24)Edit
Singles 1 (1–1)Edit
|Winner||1.||3 August 1970||Bavarian International Tennis Championships, Munich, Germany||Clay||Nikola Pilić||2–6, 9–7, 6–3, 6–4|
|Runner-up||1.||1 February 1972||Omaha, Nebraska, USA||Hard (i)||Ilie Năstase||6–2, 1–6, 1–6|
Doubles 46 (22–24)Edit
|Grand Slam tournaments|
|Grand Prix Masters|
|Group 1 tournaments|
|Group 2 tournaments|
|Outcome||Week of||Tournament||Surface||Partner||Opponents in the final||Score in the final|
|1. Winner||1970||Philadelphia WCT, USA||Carpet||Ilie Năstase|| Arthur Ashe
|2. Winner||4 May 1970||French Open, Paris||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| Arthur Ashe
|6–2, 6–4, 6–3|
|3. Winner||1970||Rome, Italy||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| William Bowrey
|0–6, 10–8, 6–3, 6–8, 6–1|
|1. Runner-up||13 July 1970||Washington DC, USA||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| Bob Hewitt
|4. Winner||20 July 1970||Cincinnati, USA||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| Bob Hewitt
|2. Runner-up||27 July 1970||U.S. Clay Court Championships, Indianapolis||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| Arthur Ashe
|6–2, 4–6, 4–6|
|3. Runner-up||16 November 1970||Embassy British Indoor Championships, London||Carpet||Ilie Năstase|| Ken Rosewall
|4–6, 3–6, 2–6|
|5. Winner||7 March 1971||Hampton, USA||Hard (i)||Ilie Năstase|| Clark Graebner
|6–4, 4–6, 7–5|
|6. Winner||12 April 1971||Monte Carlo, Monaco||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| Tom Okker
|1–6, 6–3, 6–3, 8–6|
|4. Runner-up||18 April 1971||Palermo, Sicily, Italy||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| Georges Goven
|5. Runner-up||22 May 1971||Brussels, Belgium||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| Marty Riessen
|7. Winner||6 February 1972||Kansas City, USA||Indoor||Ilie Năstase|| Andrés Gimeno
|6–7, 6–4, 7–6|
|6. Runner-up||14 February 1972||Los Angeles, California, USA||Ilie Năstase|| Jim Osborne
|2–6, 7–5, 4–6|
|8. Winner||5 March 1972||Hampton, USA||Hard (i)||Ilie Năstase|| Andrés Gimeno
|9. Winner||24 April 1972||Rome, Italy||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| Lew Hoad
|3–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–3, 5–3, RET.|
|7. Runner-up||13 May 1972||Bournemouth, England||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| Frew McMillan
|8. Runner-up||5 June 1972||Hamburg, Germany||Clay||Bob Hewitt|| Ilie Năstase
|6–4, 0–6, 6–3, 2–6, 2–6|
|10. Winner||14 August 1972||Montreal, Canada||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| Jan Kodeš
|9. Runner-up||4 February 1973||Des Moines, Iowa, USA||Hard||Juan Gisbert|| Jan Kukal
|6–4, 6–7, 1–6|
|10. Runner-up||3 March 1973||Hampton, Virginia, USA||Hard||Jimmy Connors|| Ilie Năstase
|6–4, 6–7, 1–6|
|11. Winner||26 March 1973||Valencia, Spain||Clay||Mike Estep|| Patrick Hombergen
|6–4, 1–6, 10–8|
|11. Runner-up||2 April 1973||Barcelona, Spain||Clay||Mike Estep|| Manuel Orantes
|12. Runner-up||7 May 1973||Bournemouth, England||Clay||Adriano Panatta|| Ilie Năstase
|13. Runner-up||11 June 1973||Hamburg, Germany||Clay||Manuel Orantes|| Hans-Jürgen Pohmann
|6–7, 6–7, 6–7|
|14. Runner-up||23 June 1973||Eastbourne, England||Grass||Manuel Orantes|| Jim McManus
Ove Nils Bengtson
|4–6, 6–4, 5–7|
|12. Winner||5 August 1973||Louisville, Kentucky, USA||Clay||Manuel Orantes|| Clark Graebner
|0–6, 6–4, 6–3|
|15. Runner-up||13 August 1973||Indianapolis, Indiana, USA||Clay||Manuel Orantes|| Frew McMillan
|13. Winner||17 January 1977||Baltimore, Maryland, USA||Carpet||Guillermo Vilas|| Ross Case
|6–3, 6–7, 6–4|
|16. Runner-up||7 February 1977||Springfield, Massachusetts||Carpet||Guillermo Vilas|| Frew McMillan
|14. Winner||28 March 1977||Nice, France||Clay||Guillermo Vilas|| Chris Kachel
|17. Runner-up||31 July 1977||South Orange, New Jersey, US||Clay||Guillermo Vilas|| Colin Dibley
|18. Runner-up||19 September 1977||Paris, France||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| Jacques Thamin
|2–6, 6–4, 3–6|
|15. Winner||26 September 1977||Aix-en-Provence, France||Clay||Ilie Năstase|| Patrice Dominguez
|16. Winner||3 October 1977||Tehran, Iran||Clay||Guillermo Vilas|| Bob Hewitt
|1–6, 6–1, 6–4|
|17. Winner||3 October 1977||Tehran, Iran||Clay||Guillermo Vilas|| Bob Hewitt
|1–6, 6–1, 6–4|
|18. Winner||21 November 1977||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Clay||Guillermo Vilas|| Ricardo Cano
|19. Winner||23 May 1978||BMW Open, Munich, Germany||Clay||Guillermo Vilas|| Jürgen Fassbender
|3–6, 6–4, 7–6|
|19. Runner-up||30 July 1978||South Orange, New Jersey, US||Clay||Guillermo Vilas|| John McEnroe
|20. Winner||25 September 1978||Aix-en-Provence, France||Clay||Guillermo Vilas|| Jan Kodeš
|20. Runner-up||5 November 1978||Paris Bercy, France||Hard||Guillermo Vilas|| Andrew Pattison
|21. Runner-up||1 January 1979||Hobart, Tasmania, Australia||Grass||Guillermo Vilas|| Bob Giltinan
|22. Runner-up||29 January 1979||Richmond, Virginia, USA||Carpet||Guillermo Vilas|| John McEnroe
|21. Winner||19 March 1979||San José, Costa Rica||Hard||Guillermo Vilas|| Anand Amritraj
|23. Runner-up||28 May 1979||French Open, Paris, France||Clay||Virginia Ruzici|| Wendy Turnbull
|3–6, 6–2, 3–6|
|24. Runner-up||9 July 1979||Gstaad, Switzerland||Clay||Guillermo Vilas|| John Marks
|3–6, 6–2, 3–6|
|22. Winner||29 July 1979||Volvo International, North Conway, New Hampshire, USA||Clay||Guillermo Vilas|| John Sadri
|Grand Slam tournaments|
|Australian Championships/Australian Open||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||2R||A||1R||0 / 2||1–2||33.33|
|French Championships/French Open||3R||3R||3R||QF||2R||4R||1R||1R||2R||A||A||A||A||A||0 / 9||15–9||62.50|
|Wimbledon||A||1R||4R||2R||2R||2R||3R||4R||A||1R||1R||A||A||1R||0 / 10||11–10||52.38|
|US National Championships/US Open||A||A||A||A||2R||A||2R||2R||3R||A||A||A||A||A||0 / 4||5–4||55.55|
|Win–Loss||2–1||2–2||5–2||5–2||3–3||4–2||3–3||4–3||3–2||0–1||0–1||n/a||1–1||0–2||0 / 25||32–25||56.14|
- "Profile at atpworldtour.com". Forbes.
- Becker, Boris (2011). The Player, Transworld Digital, Kindle Edition.
- "Madrid Open preview".
- "#937 Ion Tiriac". Forbes. 10 March 2010.
- "ALEGERI FRT // VIDEO Ion Țiriac e noul președinte al Federației Române de Tenis! Victorie categorică la alegeri + cine sunt cei 4 vicepreședinți". Gazeta Sporturilor (in Romanian). 19 June 2019.
- "Madrid Masters goes bling". tennisworldusa. 8 April 2011.
- "Hingis elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame". ITF Tennis. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "Tiriac Upsets Smith in 3 Sets; Nastase, Ashe and Richey Gain". The New York Times. 18 July 1970.
- Davis Cup Player Profile
- "AT WIMBLEDON WITH: Ion Tiriac; Tennis's Grandest Bad Boy," The New York Times.
- Kirkpatrick, Curry. "COUNT DRACULA". SI.com. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- "MEN'S USTA PRO CIRCUIT TENNIS TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO FAIRFIELD AFTER 24 YEARS | Cliff Drysdale Tennis". cliffdrysdale.com. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- "In praise of Safin – the head case". CNN. 2 September 2009.
- Clarey, Christopher (9 May 2009). "Spain at Last Brings the World to Its Clay". New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
- "Hingis, Stich, Sukova nominated for tennis hall". 9 September 2012.
-  The Tiriac Collection
- "Ion Tiriac´s Car Collection (Romania)". 4 September 2016.
- "the World's Billionaires – No. 937 Ion Tiriac". Forbers. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "TOP 300 Capital declares Ion Tiriac the richest man in Romania followed by businessmen Dinu Patriciu and Ioan Niculae". 18 October 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- "Sergiu Nicolaescu: "Da, am cunoscut-o pe Erika"" (in Romanian). 27 February 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "Fetița lui Țiriac, în vacanță în România" (in Romanian). Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "Mama lui Tiriac jr., o milionara excentrica" (in Romanian). Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- "Jean Maurer dezvaluie motivul ranchiunii dintre Ion Tiriac si Sergiu Nicolaescu" (in Romanian). Retrieved 25 May 2012.