Simona Halep has been the biggest story of the Romanian sport in the last couple of years and one of the most significant ones in the past couple of decades, lifting the first Wimbledon trophy to become a national hero. Halep was the player to beat a year ago, conquering the first Major crown at Roland Garros and playing well in Canada and Cincinnati to stand tall on the WTA rankings list.
Her great run was halted due to a back injury, playing only a couple of matches by the end of the season and struggling to return at her best in the first half of 2019. After losing the title in Paris, Simona went to the All England Club determined to show what she is made off, dropping one set in seven encounters and toppling Elina Svitolina and the seven-time champion Serena Williams for the highest moment of her career so far.
Welcomed by fans and two former Romanian stars Ilie Nastase and Ion Tiriac, Simona received numerous awards in the last couple of days, including the highest distinction of the Romanian state, Steaua României (Romanian Star), together with the special event organized in her honor at the National Arena.
Also, Simona Halep will be the Romanian flag-bearer at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, setting the Olympic tournament as one of her main goals for the next season. If she keeps the current form, Simona should be among the favorites for one of the medals on hard courts in Tokyo and she is also ready to chase the women's doubles and mixed doubles success to secure at least one medal for Romania.
Three years ago in Rio, Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau claimed the sivlver medal in the men's doubles event, losing in the final to Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez.