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Ion Țiriac (Romanian pronunciation: [iˈon t͡siriˈak]; born 9 May 1939), also known as the 'Brașov Bulldozer'[3] is a Romanian businessman and former professional tennis and ice hockey player.[4] A former top 10 player, 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.

Ion Țiriac
Ion Tiriac.jpg
Country (sports) Romania
ResidenceBucharest, Romania
Born (1939-05-09) 9 May 1939 (age 80)
Brașov, [Romania]
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro1968 (amateur tour from 1962)
Retired1979
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF2013 (member page)
Singles
Career record167–177[1]
Career titles1
Highest rankingNo. 8 (1968, World's Top 10)[2]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (1977Jan)
French OpenQF (1968)
Wimbledon4R (1967, 1972)
US Open3R (1973)
Doubles
Career record294–141
Career titles22
Highest rankingNo. 19 (9 April 1979)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open2R (1977Jan)
French OpenW (1970)
WimbledonSF (1970)
Team competitions
Davis CupF (1969Ch, 1971Ch, 1972)

He gained notoriety in his (mostly) post-playing years as an advisor-coach-manager for the likes of Ilie Năstase, Manuel Orantes, Adriano Panatta, Guillermo Vilas, Henri Leconte and Boris Becker. Țiriac is the developer and owner of the Mutua Madrid Open masters tennis tournament.[5] In 2013, he was elected as contributor into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[6] 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).[7]

Contents

Sports careerEdit

He was born in Transylvania, which is probably the reason why he has the nickname 'Count Dracula'.[8] Țiriac 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.[9]

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."[10]

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.[11][12]

After his retirement, he served as coach and manager for players such as Ilie Năstase, Guillermo Vilas, Mary Joe Fernández, Goran Ivanišević and Marat Safin.[13]

He became the sports agent of Boris Becker and managed his career from 1984 to 1993. In 1998 he became president of the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee.

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.[14] 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.

In 2012 he was nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the contributor category.[15]

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.

Business careerEdit

 
One of two Rolls-Royce Phantom IV owned by Țiriac, part of his car collection.[16]

After his retirement as a professional tennis player, Țiriac became a businessman in 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.

Ion Țiriac is a car collector. Tiriac Collection represents the exhibition of cars and motorcycles of Mr. Ion Tiriac. 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.[17] 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.[18] 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).[19]

In 2018, Ion Tiriac ranked #1867 on the Forbes World's Billionaires list, with wealth listed at US $1.2 billion.[20]

 
Ion Tiriac on Romanian postage stamp

Personal lifeEdit

Țiriac was married to Erika Braedt, a handball player, between 1963 and 1965.[21]

He has a son, Ion Țiriac Jr., with Mikette von Issenberg, a fashion model; and further two children with Karim Mihai and Ioana Natalia, with Sophie Ayad, an Egyptian journalist.[22][23][24]

Career statisticsEdit

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Doubles 2 (1–1)Edit

Outcome Championship Partnering Opponents Score
1966 Runner-up French Championships   Ilie Năstase   Dennis Ralston
  Clark Graebner
3–6, 3–6, 0–6
1970 Winner French Open   Ilie Năstase   Arthur Ashe
  Charlie Pasarell
6–2, 6–4, 6–3

Grand Prix and WCT Tour finals 46 (22–24)Edit

Singles 1 (1–1)Edit

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
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

Key
Grand Slam tournaments
Grand Prix Masters
Group 1 tournaments
Group 2 tournaments
Team events
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
  Dennis Ralston
6–4, 6–3
2. Winner 4 May 1970 French Open, Paris Clay   Ilie Năstase   Arthur Ashe
  Charlie Pasarell
6–2, 6–4, 6–3
3. Winner 1970 Rome, Italy Clay   Ilie Năstase   William Bowrey
  Owen Davidson
0–6, 10–8, 6–3, 6–8, 6–1
1. Runner-up 13 July 1970 Washington DC, USA Clay   Ilie Năstase   Bob Hewitt
  Frew McMillan
5–7, 0–6
4. Winner 20 July 1970 Cincinnati, USA Clay   Ilie Năstase   Bob Hewitt
  Frew McMillan
6–3, 6–4
2. Runner-up 27 July 1970 U.S. Clay Court Championships, Indianapolis, USA Clay   Ilie Năstase   Arthur Ashe
  Clark Graebner
6–2, 4–6, 4–6
3. Runner-up 16 November 1970 Embassy British Indoor Championships, London, England Carpet   Ilie Năstase   Ken Rosewall
  Stan Smith
4–6, 3–6, 2–6
5. Winner 7 March 1971 Hampton, USA Hard (i)   Ilie Năstase   Clark Graebner
  Thomaz Koch
6–4, 4–6, 7–5
6. Winner 12 April 1971 Monte Carlo, Monaco Clay   Ilie Năstase   Tom Okker
  Roger Taylor
1–6, 6–3, 6–3, 8–6
4. Runner-up 18 April 1971 Palermo, Sicily, Italy Clay   Ilie Năstase   Georges Goven
  Pierre Barthes
2–6, 3–6
5. Runner-up 22 May 1971 Brussels, Belgium Clay   Ilie Năstase   Marty Riessen
  Tom Okker
7. Winner 6 February 1972 Kansas City, USA Indoor   Ilie Năstase   Andrés Gimeno
  Manuel Orantes
6–7, 6–4, 7–6
6. Runner-up 14 February 1972 Los Angeles, California, USA   Ilie Năstase   Jim Osborne
  Jim McManus
2–6, 7–5, 4–6
8. Winner 5 March 1972 Hampton, USA Hard (i)   Ilie Năstase   Andrés Gimeno
  Manuel Orantes
6–4, 7–6
9. Winner 24 April 1972 Rome, Italy Clay   Ilie Năstase   Lew Hoad
  Frew McMillan
3–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–3, 5–3, RET.
7. Runner-up 13 May 1972 Bournemouth, England Clay   Ilie Năstase   Frew McMillan
  Bob Hewitt
5–7, 2–6
8. Runner-up 5 June 1972 Hamburg, Germany Clay   Bob Hewitt   Ilie Năstase
  Jan Kodeš
6–4, 0–6, 6–3, 2–6, 2–6
10. Winner 14 August 1972 Montreal, Canada Clay   Ilie Năstase   Jan Kodeš
  Jan Kukal
7–6, 6–3
9. Runner-up 4 February 1973 Des Moines, Iowa, USA Hard   Juan Gisbert   Jan Kukal
  Jiří Hřebec
6–4, 6–7, 1–6
10. Runner-up 3 March 1973 Hampton, Virginia, USA Hard   Jimmy Connors   Ilie Năstase
  Clark Graebner
6–4, 6–7, 1–6
11. Winner 26 March 1973 Valencia, Spain Clay   Mike Estep   Patrick Hombergen
  Bernard Mignot
6–4, 1–6, 10–8
11. Runner-up 2 April 1973 Barcelona, Spain Clay   Mike Estep   Manuel Orantes
  Juan Gisbert
4–6, 6–7
12. Runner-up 7 May 1973 Bournemouth, England Clay   Adriano Panatta   Ilie Năstase
  Juan Gisbert
4–6, 6–8
13. Runner-up 11 June 1973 Hamburg, Germany Clay   Manuel Orantes   Hans-Jürgen Pohmann
  Jürgen Fassbender
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
  John Newcombe
0–6, 6–4, 6–3
15. Runner-up 13 August 1973 Indianapolis, Indiana, USA Clay   Manuel Orantes   Frew McMillan
  Bob Carmichael
3–6, 4–6
13. Winner 17 January 1977 Baltimore, Maryland, USA Carpet   Guillermo Vilas   Ross Case
  Jan Kodeš
6–3, 6–7, 6–4
16. Runner-up 7 February 1977 Springfield, Massachusetts, USA Carpet   Guillermo Vilas   Frew McMillan
  Bob Hewitt
6–7, 6–2
14. Winner 28 March 1977 Nice, France Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Chris Kachel
  Chris Lewis
6–4, 6–1
17. Runner-up 31 July 1977 South Orange, New Jersey, USA Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Colin Dibley
  Wojciech Fibak
1–6, 5–7
18. Runner-up 19 September 1977 Paris, France Clay   Ilie Năstase   Jacques Thamin
  Christophe Roger-Vasselin
2–6, 6–4, 3–6
15. Winner 26 September 1977 Aix-en-Provence, France Clay   Ilie Năstase   Patrice Dominguez
  Rolf Norberg
7–5, 7–6
16. Winner 3 October 1977 Tehran, Iran Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Bob Hewitt
  Frew McMillan
1–6, 6–1, 6–4
17. Winner 3 October 1977 Tehran, Iran Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Bob Hewitt
  Frew McMillan
1–6, 6–1, 6–4
18. Winner 21 November 1977 Buenos Aires, Argentina Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Ricardo Cano
  Antonio Muñoz
6–4, 6–0
19. Winner 23 May 1978 BMW Open, Munich, Germany Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Jürgen Fassbender
  Tom Okker
3–6, 6–4, 7–6
19. Runner-up 30 July 1978 South Orange, New Jersey, USA Clay   Guillermo Vilas   John McEnroe
  Peter Fleming
3–6, 3–6
20. Winner 25 September 1978 Aix-en-Provence, France Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Jan Kodeš
  Tomáš Šmíd
7–6, 6–1
20. Runner-up 5 November 1978 Paris Bercy, France Hard   Guillermo Vilas   Andrew Pattison
  Bruce Manson
6–7, 2–6
21. Runner-up 1 January 1979 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia Grass   Guillermo Vilas   Bob Giltinan
  Phil Dent
6–8
22. Runner-up 29 January 1979 Richmond, Virginia, USA Carpet   Guillermo Vilas   John McEnroe
  Brian Gottfried
4–6, 3–6
21. Winner 19 March 1979 San José, Costa Rica Hard   Guillermo Vilas   Anand Amritraj
  Colin Dibley
7–6, 6–1
23. Runner-up 28 May 1979 French Open, Paris, France Clay   Virginia Ruzici   Wendy Turnbull
  Bob Hewitt
3–6, 6–2, 3–6
24. Runner-up 9 July 1979 Gstaad, Switzerland Clay   Guillermo Vilas   John Marks
  Mark Edmondson
3–6, 6–2, 3–6
22. Winner 29 July 1979 Volvo International, North Conway, New Hampshire, USA Clay   Guillermo Vilas   John Sadri
  Tim Wilkison
6–4, 7–6

Performance timelineEdit

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A P Z# PO G F-S SF-B NMS NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (Z#) Davis/Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; (G) gold, (F-S) silver or (SF-B) bronze Olympic medal; a (NMS) downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.
Tournament 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 SR W–L Win %
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

CompaniesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Profile at atpworldtour.com". Forbes.
  2. ^ Becker, Boris (2011). The Player, Transworld Digital, Kindle Edition.
  3. ^ http://www.theroar.com.au/2016/04/28/madrid-open-preview
  4. ^ "#937 Ion Tiriac". Forbes. 10 March 2010.
  5. ^ "Madrid Masters goes bling". tennisworldusa. 8 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Hingis elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame". ITF Tennis. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Tiriac Upsets Smith in 3 Sets; Nastase, Ashe and Richey Gain". The New York Times. 18 July 1970.
  8. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20150402102043/http://thebiofile.com/2010/05/biofile-with-ion-tiriac
  9. ^ Davis Cup Player Profile
  10. ^ "AT WIMBLEDON WITH: Ion Tiriac; Tennis's Grandest Bad Boy," The New York Times.
  11. ^ Kirkpatrick, Curry. "COUNT DRACULA". SI.com. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  12. ^ "MEN'S USTA PRO CIRCUIT TENNIS TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO FAIRFIELD AFTER 24 YEARS | Cliff Drysdale Tennis". cliffdrysdale.com. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  13. ^ "In praise of Safin – the head case". CNN. 2 September 2009.
  14. ^ Clarey, Christopher (9 May 2009). "Spain at Last Brings the World to Its Clay". New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  15. ^ "Hingis, Stich, Sukova nominated for tennis hall". 9 September 2012.
  16. ^ [1] The Tiriac Collection
  17. ^ http://supercars.agent4stars.com/power-cars/ion-tiriac-collection-romania. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "the World's Billionaires – No. 937 Ion Tiriac". Forbers. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  19. ^ "TOP 300 Capital declares Ion Tiriac the richest man in Romania followed by businessmen Dinu Patriciu and Ioan Niculae". Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  20. ^ https://www.forbes.com/billionaires/list/3/#version:static_header:source
  21. ^ "Sergiu Nicolaescu: "Da, am cunoscut-o pe Erika"" (in Romanian). Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  22. ^ "Fetița lui Țiriac, în vacanță în România" (in Romanian). Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  23. ^ "Mama lui Tiriac jr., o milionara excentrica" (in Romanian). Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  24. ^ "Jean Maurer dezvaluie motivul ranchiunii dintre Ion Tiriac si Sergiu Nicolaescu" (in Romanian). Retrieved 25 May 2012.

External linksEdit