Are there any fans of Irina Spirlea out there? I loved watching her play and found her personality to be pretty friendly and funny off-court in the two events I watched her practice and play. I have always contended that if she had put away Venus Williams in the 1997 US Open semifinal, she would have won the final. I didn't find Hingis' level at that tournament impressive, and I sensed that Spirlea's confidence and level had been growing all year long. The end of her career seemed to just tail off, but I didn't have the impression that she really cared. It seemed as if she was getting ready to move on to her time away from the sport. I don't have the time to search for info right now, but where is she?
YouTube has next to no videos of her, unfortunately. The 1998 Hilton Head event was a nice showcase of her talent- beating Seles and Davenport on American soil.
I'd love to chat about her; chime in if you wish!