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View Full Version : Irina Spirlea, what really happened?


wongqks
Sep 13th, 2002, 09:46 AM
The recent thread about Venus triumph over Irina in 97 US Open got me thinking about something about her. I remember watching her beat Monica in Hilton Head 1997 (or 1998) I think and I was so impressed with her. I thought she was just like Steffi Graf, amaxing forehand, very effective serve, very altheletic body.

She had a great chance to reach her first slam final in 97 US Open had two match point against venus but failed. The question is, did that match really killed Irina career? How old was she when she lost that match in US Open? She seems to be such a talented player and everything seems to go to waste. did she has any other major achievement apart from her infamous US Open run?

irma
Sep 13th, 2002, 10:00 AM
she reached the semis of the masters twice I believe. I think she was to bad tempered. she was also disqualified once from a final and I think in the end her bad temper went over to just not caring anymore. I remember she played novotna in wimbledon(98?) and it was obvious that she didn't try to win!

jadore
Sep 13th, 2002, 11:44 AM
that was so funny:

"she thinks she is the fucking venus williams"-quote from spirlea after mars rudely barged into her without apologising during their semi-final match at the USOPEN. good on her 4 having the guts to say that!

:wavey:

cheeky
Sep 13th, 2002, 11:51 AM
wow,someone starts a thread about someones career and you come in and start bashing other players,how clever,it's funny how your the only person who has brought that up!!
anyways irena seemed liked she played really well against venus i also wonder what happened to her.

jadore
Sep 13th, 2002, 12:01 PM
oh im sorry. this thread has only had 3 replies....and if u saw that match, u could easily see venus was in the wrong, and this thread was created regarding a question as to if irina lost her inspiration after losing to venus in that semi!

servenrichie
Sep 13th, 2002, 12:19 PM
Jadore grow up!

CC
Sep 13th, 2002, 12:30 PM
Perception is very subjective. I thought Spirlea was the deliberate one in that little incident.

irma
Sep 13th, 2002, 12:38 PM
"she thinks she is the fucking venus williams"-

what did miss spirlea mean by this that venus was not the really venus but an imposter who only thought she was venus? lol when you think about it what a stupid comment that was!
in fact spirlea says that venus is great because she says, she is an arrogant bitch because she(venus) thinks she is venus williams wich must mean something great because otherwise spirlea would not be pissed that venus thinks she is venus williams!

Raisin
Sep 13th, 2002, 12:44 PM
LMAO @ irma's analysis. Of course Venus will only think she is the "fucking Venus Williams" cause that's who she is:kiss:

servenrichie
Sep 13th, 2002, 12:45 PM
Bump!

She is "Venus Williams"!

wongqks
Sep 13th, 2002, 12:47 PM
Oh no, this is not the intention of this thread LOL, come on tennis guru, or people who follow tennis closely before 1998, can someone tell me more about irina and more news about her apart from her infamous bump again LOL

tazban1
Sep 13th, 2002, 01:18 PM
She was never really a top, top player. The year of "the bump" was her peaking, or, you could say, of a flash in the pan. A little bit like Jonas Bjorkman, who made it to, I think, 4 in the world, but doesn't really have the talent of a top 5 player. I don't want to call it a fluke, but I think they were merely incidents of playing above themselves for a year or so and then playing back to their natural level.

As for Spirlea, she didn't really have a killer instinct and her mobility was a major weakness. Also, she got married soon after her best year and probably had family as priority over her career. She was known to be emotional and have a cussing problem. I think she was one of the only women to be defaulted. I don't know how many women actually were defaulted in history, but I remember she was certainly the only woman that year. Though, I don't think these things mean she was a bad person as I've read/heard several times that she was actually one of the most popular people amongst the tour.

as for the "fucking Venus Williams" comment, she simply meant that she thought that Venus was arrogant and acted as if she was better/bigger than everyone else.

wongqks
Sep 13th, 2002, 01:24 PM
Thanks tazban1 for the info

Yeah I certainly remeber Jona Bjorkman had a similar year to Irina that year. I always thought her mobility is great because of her lean shape, maybe I got the impression that she move well because of that.

I dunno whether yoiu said Irina has no killer instinct is right, coz I recall she had one of the best forehand i have seen at that time,but I do remeber she had he rup and down

Mark43
Sep 13th, 2002, 01:30 PM
I really enjoyed Irina's game. It also reminded me very much of Steffi Graf's style of play. She beat Monica Seles in 1998 on clay at Hilton Head (or Amelia Island??) and I don't remember seeing her again. I don't feel at all that Irina was playing above herself (don't buy that, period) as she was obviously very talented. I think her concentration/mental aspect/temper was her downfall and I would very much like to know why she left the tour.

tazban1
Sep 13th, 2002, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by wongqks
[BI dunno whether yoiu said Irina has no killer instinct is right, coz I recall she had one of the best forehand i have seen at that time,but I do remeber she had he rup and down [/B]

Her forehand was definitely her major weapon. I remember hearing from the commentators that when she was a kid she always wanted to play like Graf so she developed a game like Graf's, but wasn't able to execute that game nearly as well because she didn't have the mobility of Graf.

The reason I wrote that she didn't have much of a killer instinct was because she was kind of a headcase: wasn't able to rise to the occasion on the big points, often lost focus, let the emotion get the better of her, often instead of hitting the winner she'd toy with her opponent................and then lose.

Cybelle Darkholme
Sep 13th, 2002, 01:41 PM
jadore you are a liar at worst and at best a bad revisionist.

Irina herself said she INTENTIONALLY WALKED INTO VENUS SO VENUS WOULD MOVE. Venus said she was so focused on the match that she didn't even realize irina was walking into her. So really who is at fault? someone who is focused on their match or someone who purposefully tried to walk into someone?

Geezus some people are so full of crap it is amazing. Well Irina sure did disappear fast after venus finished her off at the semi final. Thank goodness, who needs a bad tempered potty mouthed sailor on the court.

Giuliano
Sep 13th, 2002, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by cybelledarkholmexx
who needs a bad tempered potty mouthed sailor.

You could cut the irony with a knife :angel:.

vw43
Sep 13th, 2002, 01:55 PM
lol@julien...:angel:

The Crow
Sep 13th, 2002, 02:00 PM
I miss Irina: her beautiful tennis, her laziness ;) , ... We need more tennis players like her.

Pureracket
Sep 13th, 2002, 04:15 PM
In one of her candid interviews, Venus was asked about players who had "truly" beaten her in her careers. In other words, there were matches wherein Venus could do absolutely nothing to defend against. Venus named Sonya J., Lindsay D., and IRINA SPIRLEA.

Hurley
Sep 13th, 2002, 04:22 PM
I don't consider her a Bjorkman type...Spirlea had about five or six good years ranked around 8-15, reached the US Open SF once, the Masters SF twice, and the quarters at the Australian and French a few more times. Not spectacular but pretty darn good.

Gallofa
Sep 13th, 2002, 04:33 PM
She just kind of drifted away, didn't she? I saw her at RG 2000 and again at Wimbledon 2000, not knowing they would be her last matches, and it was such a sad sight. She simply didn't care. She had completely lost the passion for the game. I was very disappointed but I guess it was the right time for her to quit.

I truly loved Irina, such fire! :D this is an extract from an article on ACE MAGAZINE:

q: What would you have done if you hadn't been a professional tennis player?
a: I'd probably be a doctor working with kids.

q: Who is your most feared opponent and why?
a: I don't have any.

q: What's your proudest moment?
a: The first time I beat Sabatini (in Rome, four or five years ago).

q: Most embarrasing moment?
a: When I was at school I mised most of my lessons because I was always away playing tennis. I found it very embarrasing turning up to lessons and not understanding what was going on.

q: What car do you drive?
a: I have a Deawoo, but I never get the chance to drive it, because I'm never at home.

q: What's your idea of perfect happiness?
a: Being healthy.

q: What irritates you most about your job?
a: People who keep their mobile phones switched on when you're on court, or room-mates who snore.

q: If your house was on fire and you could only save one object what would it be?
a: My trophy from Amelia Island in 1996.

q: What is the most valuable thing you've learnt in life?
a: I have had to spend a lot of time on my own from a early age. The most important thing for me was to learn to look after myself on my own.

q: What do you dislike about your appearance?
a: Ask some of the other girls on the circuit they'll give you a better answer.

q: Pick five words to describe yourself.
a: Funny, crazy, direct, and short tempered. I can't think of a fifth one.

::::::

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/1999/us_open/news/1999/08/30/usopen_roundup/lg_spirlea_ap_01.jpg

IMO there is a hint of great intelligence in the simplicity and honesty of those answers.

rhz
Sep 13th, 2002, 04:35 PM
She was a great player! too bad she decied to pursue something else in her life. good luck on whatever she does!

rhz
Sep 13th, 2002, 04:37 PM
when and why was she defaulted ??

irma
Sep 13th, 2002, 04:40 PM
In Palermo at a final(1996?), I think she made the finger to the umpire!(not sure about that)

midora
Sep 13th, 2002, 04:41 PM
Irina's temper was purportedly so bad that even Ilie Nastaste couldn't work with her. He reported that he thought she was crazy. Now if Nasty thinks that. . .

Cam'ron Giles
Sep 13th, 2002, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by irma
"she thinks she is the fucking venus williams"-

what did miss spirlea mean by this that venus was not the really venus but an imposter who only thought she was venus? lol when you think about it what a stupid comment that was!
in fact spirlea says that venus is great because she says, she is an arrogant bitch because she(venus) thinks she is venus williams wich must mean something great because otherwise spirlea would not be pissed that venus thinks she is venus williams!

Shit irms, you just gave me a headache...You must think you are the fucking Ms. irma or something...:confused:

irma
Sep 13th, 2002, 04:55 PM
I want to study philosophy and I practised already a little bit:p

G-Ha
Sep 13th, 2002, 05:37 PM
Irina was definitely not a flash in the pan. She has several titles under her belt and multiple wins over Monica Seles, ASV, Mary Joe Fernandez and Sandrine Testud. She also has wins over Venus, Serena and Lindsay. I think just about the only players she never managed a win against are Steffi and Martina Hingis.

As others have mentioned, she modeled her game precisely after her idol, Steffi Graf: big serve, big forehand, slice backhand. Obviously she didn't do any of those things as well as Steffi, but her temper, lack of mental toughness and lack of speed prevented her from being an even more accomplished player.

The infamous "bump": clearly Irina saw Venus coming and had no intention of moving, but CBS repeatedly showed the incident from just about every possible angle and it appears that Venus was looking right at Irina as the two approached. Venus would have to have been REALLY "focused" not to see a large woman approaching head on.

ayanate
Sep 13th, 2002, 05:49 PM
G-Ha, I hope you are never allowed on a jury if you choose to disregard a confession, Irina said she intentionally bumped Venus, ...some people would be biased till they die.

Helen Lawson
Sep 13th, 2002, 05:52 PM
I loved that bump, it is still one of the top 10 "events" of the 1990's and the ball was not even in play. Who cares who initiated it or who could have avoided it, it was funny as hell. I miss Spirlea. Too many players today behave so nicely. Someone with a hair-trigger, nasty temper with a foul mouth who does a certain amount of trash talking off-court I do find entertaining as long as it is not too many players who act this way. We have a few who excel in a few of these areas, but so far, we are lacking "the full package."

G-Ha
Sep 13th, 2002, 06:35 PM
Hmmm....where in my post did I say that Irina did not intentionally bump Venus? In fact, I think I wrote that Irina "had no intention of moving". No intention of moving to avoid the collision = intentionally bumping into Venus. ayanate, I hope you are never allowed to teach an English class...

Gallofa
Sep 13th, 2002, 06:51 PM
Well, I know that 90% of people in this Board haven't got a sense of humour, but for those of you who do and since we are going to discuss this, instead of Irina's career, here's a different take on "the bump".

The Crow
Sep 13th, 2002, 06:55 PM
lmao Bea. Can I be one of the 10% please? ;)

G-Ha
Sep 13th, 2002, 06:59 PM
LOL! That's classic!

ayanate
Sep 13th, 2002, 07:52 PM
Hey, not only should you be stopped from being on a jury G-Ha, you should not be allowed to be a witness either, 'intentionally bumped' and 'no intention to move' are as different as night and day.

G-Ha
Sep 13th, 2002, 08:29 PM
ayanate, I do not wish to go round and round with you debating the nuances of word meanings. But in my opinion, if I see that I'm about to collide with someone and am able to move to avoid such collision, but choose not to, then I have intentionally bumped into that person. We obviously have a different understanding, so let's leave it at that.

BTW, I couldn't help but notice you've been a member since March and have dedicated all 2 of your posts to me...thanks, I feel so honored! :kiss:

Ryan
Sep 13th, 2002, 08:49 PM
"she thinks she is the fucking venus williams"-quote from spirlea after mars rudely barged into her without apologising during their semi-final match at the USOPEN. good on her 4 having the guts to say that!


Whatever. That was intentionally instagated by Spirlea, she smirked after the bump, and was whistling in the mischevious way before it.:p


I liked her game though, very nice forehand, and her backhand slice wasn't bad either.

King Lindsay
Sep 13th, 2002, 09:25 PM
I thought the quote came from Spirlea misunderstanding a Venus quote where Venus said she was "the funky Venus Williams". Although, to this day, she's the fucking Venus Williams to me. Spirlea, I love you!

selesfan1
Sep 13th, 2002, 09:30 PM
She also won Strasbourg in 1998

Martian KC
Sep 13th, 2002, 09:34 PM
I loved her to death! She had just a fantastic game to watch! Even her slice backhand IMO was better than graf's. She had the potential to win grand slams. Even her temper was what hooked me on her. She was just sooooo eccentric out there. Didn't give a care about the umpires!;) Too bad about her career, the 97 US truly did affect her.

Berlin_Calling
Sep 13th, 2002, 09:36 PM
Venus's serve was so not of a weapon in that match...

Kart
Sep 14th, 2002, 12:46 AM
Originally posted by Gallofa

q: What's your proudest moment?
a: The first time I beat Sabatini (in Rome, four or five years ago).


:(.


Spirlea was a very good player. She was on the rise in 1997 when she played a good match against Steffi in Paris and an even better match against Monica in New York. She had a good forehand and I personally thought she was pretty fast. The real problem for her was her temperament, the rest of her game was good enough for her to have been a consistent top 20 at the time.

As for that incident with Venus ... old old old news. A bit of a shame that's all she's remembered for.