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Romanian Rock Star: Halep Fan Steals the Show

It has been said that even one ardent fan in a crowd of thousands can change the tone of a match. Those in attendance for Thursday’s quarterfinal between top seed Simona Halep and No. 6 Ekaterina Makarova can hardly be credited for making everything better – the tennis itself was nigh unwatchable for large swaths of the match – but one such fan did make the viewing experience more entertaining.

The rematch of one of this year’s Australian Open quarterfinal encounters began with a tight opening set – one which Halep, who had yet to beat a player ranked within the world’s Top 45 in 2015, managed to clinch, 6-3. From there, the comparisons to Clijsters were never more apt. In spite of her clean technique, Halep seems to share the Belgian’s propensity for needlessly dirtying the stat sheet, slapping 17 errors to lose the second set, 6-1.

As the final set got underway, the players took a back seat to a far more dynamic presence on Dubai’s Centre Court:

Who might this fan be, you ask? Her identity remains a mystery, but she quickly earned a spot in the hearts of fans watching at home – along with the camera operator, who began cutting to her after almost every point.

Sometimes she was up:

Other times – like when Halep failed to convert one of 19 she’d earned throughout the match – she was down:

When the World No. 4 earned a decisive break at 5-3, she could hardly contain herself:

As Makarova clawed back – winning eight of nine points to level the set at 5-5 – she was in despair:

Halep went on to hold at love and earn match points, leaving her biggest supporter cautiously optimistic:

Though the Russian would save four, the match came to an end – throwing her into utter euphoria…

…not before one last false alarm, of course:

Halep next plays Caroline Wozniacki for a spot in the final; the Romanian beat the No. 3 seed at the start of her rise to relevance in 2013, on the Dane’s beloved New Haven hard courts. Perhaps more exciting than the renewed rivalry is the guarantee that, should Halep’s No. 1 fan return for the semifinals, we’re all in for another wild ride.

UPDATE:Β  TTI has learned that the Halep fan is named Cristina, who came from Bucharest to watch Halep play in Dubai. Cristina, 39, returned Friday night to see Halep recover from a set down to up-end Caroline Wozniacki, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1. As expected, Cristina was jazzed about it:

About David Kane (137 Articles)
Sr. Digital Content Producer, WTA Networks.

9 Comments on Romanian Rock Star: Halep Fan Steals the Show

  1. SOMEBODY buy that woman a ticket!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s great to see someone doing in public what I do in the privacy of my own home πŸ˜‰ I’m glad she was there to push Simona across the finish line… Because come on, after all that invested effort, she deserves some credit (whether or not her player even realised she was there!)


  3. Absolutly great match. Both players gave a sensational tennis, and fans did know it. Next match should be as good as Halep and Wozniaki high level. Halep is incredible popular! Nice to see that lady in dramatic images :)))


  4. Even Halep’s mother never gets that emotional. Lol.!!!!!!


  5. enjoyed this writing. happy to know that TheTennisIsland feels it is newsworthy. Bravo. With all respect, thanks to Cristi and this article, it brought me smiles and laughs.


  6. Halep Superfan > Genie Army


  7. PS: I sure hope Stacey Allaster is working on a way to get Cristina to Singapore..


  8. Wish we could have seen her reactions today…especially when Simona got broken both times serving for the title. πŸ™‚


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