Romanian tennis star Simona Halep says Emma Raducanu has inspired lots of kids in Romania and she is happy to see the influence the 19-year-old is having on Romanian kids. Raducanu, who is half Romanian, made tennis history when she became the first qualifier in tennis history to win a Grand Slam.
“Well, many people were following her when she won US Open,” Halep said. “I feel like the country was happy for her. Her being half Romanian means a lot also for the Romanians. Many kids are following her. I think she inspired many kids back in Romania, so it’s a good thing for our country”.
When Raducanu was asked about Halep, she said the two-time Grand Slam champion was one of the players she used to look up to while growing up. Halep thinks positively of Raducanu and everything is good between the two but admits they don't really have a close relationship.
“We haven’t hit,” Halep said. “Tried once but it didn’t work. We speak just a little bit. But we don’t have long conversations. So no, we are not friends; we are just colleagues on the tour”.
Halep on not opening the play on the Centre Court
The Wimbledon organizers decided to have world No. 1 Iga Swiatek open the play on the Centre Court. Many believed that Halep, the 2019 Wimbledon champion, deserved the honor to replace Ashleigh Barty and open the play on the Centre Court.
Wimbledon didn't take place in 2020, while Halep didn't play at The Championships last year due to a calf injury. “I’ve said this too much to say. But I can say that I feel sad that I missed it because I was injured, so I couldn’t really take the chance,” Halep reflected.
“It would have been very nice to open the tournament. But my chance is gone. So probably in this life I can have another chance, so I will look forward to that. Not that simple, but I’m going to work for that”.