Ion Țiriac[3] (Romanian pronunciation: [iˈon t͡siriˈak]; born 9 May 1939), also known as the "Brașov Bulldozer",[4] is a Romanian businessman and former professional tennis and ice hockey player.[5] He has been president of the Romanian Tennis Federation.[6]

Ion Țiriac
Țiriac in 2008
Country (sports) Romania
ResidenceBucharest, Romania
Born (1939-05-09) 9 May 1939 (age 85)
Brașov, Romania
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Turned pro1968 (amateur from 1958)
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Int. Tennis HoF2013 (member page)
Career record454–303 (60.0%)[1]
Career titles34[1]
Highest rankingNo. 19 (1968, World's Top 10)[2]
Grand Slam singles results
Australian Open2R (1977Jan)
French OpenQF (1968)
Wimbledon4R (1967, 1972)
US Open3R (1973)
Career record294–141
Career titles22
Highest rankingNo. 8 (9 April 1979)
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian Open2R (1977Jan)
French OpenW (1970)
WimbledonSF (1970)
Team competitions
Davis CupF (1969Ch, 1971Ch, 1972)
Medal record
Representing  Romania
Summer Universiade
Bronze medal – third place 1961 Sofia Singles
Bronze medal – third place 1961 Sofia Mixed Doubles
Gold medal – first place 1965 Budapest Singles
Gold medal – first place 1965 Budapest Mixed Doubles
Bronze medal – third place 1965 Budapest Doubles

A former singles top 10 player on the ATP Tour, he was active from 1958 to 1979 and won 34 career singles titles.[1] Tiriac was 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 and defeat her, 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, Tiriac 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 has owned from 2009 to 2021.[7] In 2013, he was elected as contributor into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[8] He has been managing French tennis player Lucas Pouille since December 2016.

As a tennis player, Tiriac played dramatic five-setters against Rod Laver, Stan Smith, Jan Kodeš and Manuel Orantes. His singles record includes wins over Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Roscoe Tanner, Manuel Orantes, Andrés Gimeno, Adriano Panatta and Niki Pilić. He played three Davis Cup finals (in 1969, 1971 and 1972).[9]

As of April 2022, Forbes ranked him as the third-richest person in Romania with a net worth of $1.6 billion.[10]

Sports career edit

Țiriac was born in Transylvania, which is probably the reason why he has the nickname 'Count Dracula'.[11] The first sport he practiced, as a child was table tennis.[12][13]

Afterwards he played ice hockey as a defenceman, winning a Romanian Hockey League title with CCA București in 1961, he also played for Știința București.[14][15] Țiriac represented Romania's ice hockey team at the 1961 Ice Hockey World Championships where he was used by player-coach Zoltan Czaka in five games in which he scored five goals as the team finished on the 15th place.[14][16][17] He was called up by coach Mihai Flamaropol to be in Romania's squad at the 1964 Winter Olympics.[14][18]

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.[19]

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."[20]

Țiriac participated in the short period during the 1970s when women participated 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.[21][22]

Executive roles edit

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.[23] He became the sports agent of Boris Becker and managed his career from 1984 to 1993.

Țiriac was president of the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee from 1998 to 2004.

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.[24] The trophy awarded to the tournament winner bears his name.

Țiriac also held the license for the BRD Năstase Țiriac Trophy tennis tournament since 1996, until its last edition in 2016, before the tournament being relocated to Budapest.

In 2012, Țiriac was nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the contributor category.[25]

On 13 July 2013, Țiriac 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 career edit

One of two Rolls-Royce Phantom IV owned by Țiriac, part of his car collection.[26]

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. (In reality, Țiriac was popular and outgoing, especially when he served as player/coach of the Boston Lobsters of World Team Tennis in the 1970s.)

In Germany, Țiriac met another Romanian businessman, Dan Petrescu. Țiriac and Petrescu became economic partners and collaborated in the development of several companies in the following years.[27][28]

Following the collapse of communism in Romania, Țiriac started numerous businesses and investments back home. In 1990, he founded Ion Țiriac Bank, 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.[29] 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, Țiriac 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.[30] 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).[31]

In 2018, Ion Țiriac ranked #1867 on the Forbes World's Billionaires list, with wealth listed at US$1.2 billion.[32]

Țiriac on a Romanian postage stamp

Personal life edit

Țiriac was married to Erika Braedt, a handball player, between 1963 and 1965.[33]

He has a son, Ion Țiriac Jr., with Mikette von Issenberg, a fashion model; and further two children, Karim Mihai and Ioana Natalia, with Sophie Ayad, an Egyptian journalist.[34][35][36]

According to Cinemagia, he dubbed the character Kron for the Romanian version of Dinosaur.[37]

Career statistics edit

Grand Slam finals edit

Doubles 2 (1–1) edit

Result Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1966 French Championships Clay   Ilie Năstase   Dennis Ralston
  Clark Graebner
3–6, 3–6, 0–6
Win 1970 French Open Clay   Ilie Năstase   Arthur Ashe
  Charlie Pasarell
6–2, 6–4, 6–3

Grand Prix and WCT Tour finals edit

Singles (2–1) edit

Result W–L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 1–0 Aug 1970 Munich, Germany Clay   Nikola Pilić 2–6, 9–7, 6–3, 6–4
Win 2–0 May 1971 Madrid, Spain Clay   Ilie Năstase 7–5, 6–1, 6–0
Loss 2–1 Feb 1972 Omaha, Nebraska, US Hard (i)   Ilie Năstase 6–2, 0–6, 1–6

Doubles (23–24) edit

Grand Slam tournaments
Grand Prix Masters
Group 1 tournaments
Group 2 tournaments
Team events
Result W–L Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1–0 Feb 1970 Philadelphia WCT, US Carpet   Ilie Năstase   Arthur Ashe
  Dennis Ralston
6–4, 6–3
Win 2–0 May 1970 French Open, Paris Clay   Ilie Năstase   Arthur Ashe
  Charlie Pasarell
6–2, 6–4, 6–3
Win 3–0 Apr 1970 Rome, Italy Clay   Ilie Năstase   William Bowrey
  Owen Davidson
0–6, 10–8, 6–3, 6–8, 6–1
Loss 3–1 Jul 1970 Washington, D.C., US Clay   Ilie Năstase   Bob Hewitt
  Frew McMillan
5–7, 0–6
Win 4–1 Jul 1970 Cincinnati, US Clay   Ilie Năstase   Bob Hewitt
  Frew McMillan
6–3, 6–4
Loss 4–2 Jul 1970 Indianapolis, US Clay   Ilie Năstase   Arthur Ashe
  Clark Graebner
6–2, 4–6, 4–6
Loss 4–3 Nov 1970 London, UK Carpet   Ilie Năstase   Ken Rosewall
  Stan Smith
4–6, 3–6, 2–6
Win 5–3 Mar 1971 Hampton, US Hard (i)   Ilie Năstase   Clark Graebner
  Thomaz Koch
6–4, 4–6, 7–5
Win 6–3 Apr 1971 Monte-Carlo, Monaco Clay   Ilie Năstase   Tom Okker
  Roger Taylor
1–6, 6–3, 6–3, 8–6
Loss 6–4 Apr 1971 Palermo, Sicily, Italy Clay   Ilie Năstase   Georges Goven
  Pierre Barthès
2–6, 3–6
Loss 6–5 May 1971 Brussels, Belgium Clay   Ilie Năstase   Marty Riessen
  Tom Okker
Win 7–5 Feb 1972 Kansas City, US Indoor   Ilie Năstase   Andrés Gimeno
  Manuel Orantes
6–7, 6–4, 7–6
Loss 7–6 Feb 1972 Los Angeles, California, US   Ilie Năstase   Jim Osborne
  Jim McManus
2–6, 7–5, 4–6
Win 8–6 Mar 1972 Hampton, US Hard (i)   Ilie Năstase   Andrés Gimeno
  Manuel Orantes
6–4, 7–6
Win 9–6 Apr 1972 Rome, Italy Clay   Ilie Năstase   Lew Hoad
  Frew McMillan
3–6, 3–6, 6–4, 6–3, 5–3, RET.
Loss 9–7 May 1972 Bournemouth, England Clay   Ilie Năstase   Frew McMillan
  Bob Hewitt
5–7, 2–6
Loss 9–8 Jun 1972 Hamburg, Germany Clay   Bob Hewitt   Ilie Năstase
  Jan Kodeš
6–4, 0–6, 6–3, 2–6, 2–6
Win 10–8 Aug 1972 Montreal, Canada Clay   Ilie Năstase   Jan Kodeš
  Jan Kukal
7–6, 6–3
Loss 10–9 Feb 1973 Des Moines, Iowa, US Hard   Juan Gisbert   Jan Kukal
  Jiří Hřebec
6–4, 6–7, 1–6
Loss 10–10 Mar 1973 Hampton, Virginia, US Hard   Jimmy Connors   Ilie Năstase
  Clark Graebner
6–4, 6–7, 1–6
Win 11–10 Mar 1973 Valencia, Spain Clay   Mike Estep   Patrick Hombergen
  Bernard Mignot
6–4, 1–6, 10–8
Loss 11–11 Apr 1973 Barcelona, Spain Clay   Mike Estep   Manuel Orantes
  Juan Gisbert
4–6, 6–7
Loss 11–12 May 1973 Bournemouth, England Clay   Adriano Panatta   Ilie Năstase
  Juan Gisbert
4–6, 6–8
Loss 11–13 Jun 1973 Hamburg, Germany Clay   Manuel Orantes   Hans-Jürgen Pohmann
  Jürgen Fassbender
6–7, 6–7, 6–7
Loss 11–14 Jun 1973 Eastbourne, England Grass   Manuel Orantes   Jim McManus
  Ove Nils Bengtson
4–6, 6–4, 5–7
Win 12–14 Aug 1973 Louisville, Kentucky, US Clay   Manuel Orantes   Clark Graebner
  John Newcombe
0–6, 6–4, 6–3
Loss 12–15 Aug 1973 Indianapolis, Indiana, US Clay   Manuel Orantes   Frew McMillan
  Bob Carmichael
3–6, 4–6
Win 13–15 Mar 1974 São Paulo WCT, Brazil Carpet (i)   Adriano Panatta   Ove Nils Bengtson
  Björn Borg
7-5, 3-6, 6-3
Win 14–15 Jan 1977 Baltimore, Maryland, US Carpet   Guillermo Vilas   Ross Case
  Jan Kodeš
6–3, 6–7, 6–4
Loss 14–16 Feb 1977 Springfield, Massachusetts Carpet   Guillermo Vilas   Frew McMillan
  Bob Hewitt
6–7, 6–2
Loss 15–16 Mar 1977 Nice, France Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Chris Kachel
  Chris Lewis
6–4, 6–1
Loss 15–17 Jul 1977 South Orange, New Jersey, US Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Colin Dibley
  Wojciech Fibak
1–6, 5–7
Loss 15–18 Sep 1977 Paris, France Clay   Ilie Năstase   Jacques Thamin
  Christophe Roger-Vasselin
2–6, 6–4, 3–6
Win 16–18 Sep 1977 Aix-en-Provence, France Clay   Ilie Năstase   Patrice Dominguez
  Rolf Norberg
7–5, 7–6
Win 17–18 Oct 1977 Tehran, Iran Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Bob Hewitt
  Frew McMillan
1–6, 6–1, 6–4
Win 18–18 Oct 1977 Tehran, Iran Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Bob Hewitt
  Frew McMillan
1–6, 6–1, 6–4
Win 19–18 Nov 1977 Buenos Aires, Argentina Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Ricardo Cano
  Antonio Muñoz
6–4, 6–0
Win 20–18 May 1978 Munich, Germany Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Jürgen Fassbender
  Tom Okker
3–6, 6–4, 7–6
Loss 20–19 Jul 1978 South Orange, New Jersey, US Clay   Guillermo Vilas   John McEnroe
  Peter Fleming
3–6, 3–6
Win 21–19 Sep 1978 Aix-en-Provence, France Clay   Guillermo Vilas   Jan Kodeš
  Tomáš Šmíd
7–6, 6–1
Loss 21–20 Nov 1978 Paris Bercy, France Hard   Guillermo Vilas   Andrew Pattison
  Bruce Manson
6–7, 2–6
Loss 21–21 Jan 1979 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia Grass   Guillermo Vilas   Bob Giltinan
  Phil Dent
Loss 21–22 Jan 1979 Richmond, Virginia, US Carpet   Guillermo Vilas   John McEnroe
  Brian Gottfried
4–6, 3–6
Win 22–22 Mar 1979 San José, Costa Rica Hard   Guillermo Vilas   Anand Amritraj
  Colin Dibley
7–6, 6–1
Loss 22–23 May 1979 French Open, Paris, France Clay   Virginia Ruzici   Wendy Turnbull
  Bob Hewitt
3–6, 6–2, 3–6
Loss 22–24 Jul 1979 Gstaad, Switzerland Clay   Guillermo Vilas   John Marks
  Mark Edmondson
3–6, 6–2, 3–6
Win 23–24 Jul 1979 North Conway, US Clay   Guillermo Vilas   John Sadri
  Tim Wilkison
6–4, 7–6

Performance timeline edit

(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.
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

Companies edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Players: Țiriac, Ion". The Tennis Base. Madrid: Tennismem SL. Retrieved 4 November 2023.
  2. ^ Becker, Boris (2011). The Player, Transworld Digital, Kindle Edition.
  3. ^ "Profile at". Forbes.
  4. ^ "Madrid Open preview".
  5. ^ "#937 Ion Tiriac". Forbes. 10 March 2010.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "Madrid Masters goes bling". tennisworldusa. 8 April 2011.
  8. ^ "Hingis elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame". ITF Tennis. 4 March 2013. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Tiriac Upsets Smith in 3 Sets; Nastase, Ashe and Richey Gain". The New York Times. 18 July 1970.
  10. ^ "Cei mai bogaţi oameni din lume în 2022. Şase români în topul Forbes". Adevărul (in Romanian). 6 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Biofile with Ion Tiriac |". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Cum s-a apucat Ion Țiriac de tenis din întâmplare: "Eram bătrân, aveam 15 ani"" [How Ion Țiriac took up tennis by accident: "I was old, I was 15 years old"] (in Romanian). 21 October 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  13. ^ "Ce făcea Ion Țiriac la 15 ani ca să își întrețină familia! Un dentist l-a văzut și l-a chemat, dar a regretat amarnic: "Eu eram iepuraș, fugeam până la Predeal"" [What was Ion Țiriac doing at the age of 15 to support his family! A dentist saw him and called him, but he regretted it bitterly: "I was a bunny, I was running to Predeal"] (in Romanian). 6 February 2024. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  14. ^ a b c "Ion Țiriac profile". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  15. ^ "Steaua București profile". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  16. ^ "Romania 1960/61". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  17. ^ "Championnats du monde 1961" (in French). Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  18. ^ "Romania 1963/64". Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  19. ^ Davis Cup Player Profile
  20. ^ "AT WIMBLEDON WITH: Ion Tiriac; Tennis's Grandest Bad Boy," The New York Times.
  21. ^ Kirkpatrick, Curry. "COUNT DRACULA". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  22. ^ "MEN'S USTA PRO CIRCUIT TENNIS TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO FAIRFIELD AFTER 24 YEARS | Cliff Drysdale Tennis". Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  23. ^ "In praise of Safin – the head case". CNN. 2 September 2009.
  24. ^ Clarey, Christopher (9 May 2009). "Spain at Last Brings the World to Its Clay". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  25. ^ "Hingis, Stich, Sukova nominated for tennis hall". 9 September 2012.
  26. ^ [1] The Tiriac Collection
  27. ^ Hostiuc, Cristian (3 October 2021). "Tragedie: Dan Petrescu, poate unul dintre cei mai discreți miliardari ai României, a murit într-un cumplit accident aviatic lângă Milano în urma prăbușirii avionului în care se afla împreună cu încă șapte persoane. El a construit rețelele Metro, Real, Jumbo și îi organiza turneele de tenis ale lui Ion Țiriac". Ziarul Financiar (in Romanian).
  28. ^ Bian, Nicolae (4 October 2021). "Cine este Dan Petrescu, cel mai bogat român cu afaceri imobiliare, mort în accidentul aviatic de la Milano / Țiriac a declarat public de mai multe ori că Petrescu este mai bogat decât el". G4Media (in Romanian).
  29. ^ "Ion Tiriac´s Car Collection (Romania)". 4 September 2016. Archived from the original on 17 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  30. ^ "the World's Billionaires – No. 937 Ion Tiriac". Forbers. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  31. ^ "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.
  32. ^ "Forbes Billionaires 2021: The Richest People in the World". Forbes.
  33. ^ "Sergiu Nicolaescu: "Da, am cunoscut-o pe Erika"" (in Romanian). 27 February 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  34. ^ "Fetița lui Țiriac, în vacanță în România" (in Romanian). Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  35. ^ "Mama lui Tiriac jr., o milionara excentrica" (in Romanian). Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  36. ^ "Jean Maurer dezvaluie motivul ranchiunii dintre Ion Țiriac si Sergiu Nicolaescu" (in Romanian). Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  37. ^ "20 de ani de magie de la primul film Disney dublat în limba română".

Selected publications edit

  • Țiriac, Ion; Năstase, Ilie (1972). Ar fi fost prea frumos... Editura Stadion. OCLC 895420065.
  • Țiriac, Ion (1974). Victorie cu orice preț. Editura Stadion. OCLC 895420017.

External links edit