The decision made by Simona Halep not to feature in the play-off between Romania and Canada for the Fed Cup World Group has split tennis fans in our country into two camps: those who think that her decision is justified and those who think that Simona has made a mistake.
To find out how differently people will view Simona Halep after this episode, Ziare.com has been speaking to Ciprian Porumb, Romania’s former Davis Cup captain.
In 2012 there was a general boycott in the Romanian Davis Cup team after the main players refused to play in the match against Holland. However, Porumb says that you cannot compare this situation with that as Simona Halep has every reason to decide not to be part of the team.
Porumb also states that Romanians shouldn’t view Simona Halep differently because she has made the right decision.
Here is the interview given by Ciprian Porumb to Ziare.com.
In 2012 you went through a somewhat similar situation when Victor Hanescu refused to join the team unless he was paid a certain amount of money. Can comparisons be made between these two situations?
It’s definitely a bit different. Simona has played an awful lot recently and wants to prepare for the tournaments on clay, particularly for Roland Garros. It’s a shame that she’s not coming, but I think that we can still win the match without her. Simona has had a very busy three weeks in America and needs a break.
Do you think that if the prize money was bigger in the Fed Cup that she would have played?
No way. Simona doesn’t play for the prize money, neither in Fed Cup nor in the tournaments she enters. She is always thinking about Romania and about those who support her.
Will Romanians view her differently after her refusal to play? Comments have already appeared….
There’s one thing Romanians need to understand. When you get to this level, you need rest and recovery, and you have to manage your schedule well. Simona will still have the chance to play in the Fed Cup, and even to win the trophy along with the other girls. But if she came now, she’s at risk of jeopardising both objectives. On the one hand, by going to Canada in a tired state and not helping the team in the Fed Cup and, on the other, by failing to progress well at Roland Garros, which I think she has a great chance of winning.
Is there still such a thing as patriotism in tennis?
There definitely is. When we were in the Davis Cup, we played, first and foremost, out of a sense of patriotism. It was the number one factor for us, and I’m sure that it is the same for the girls.
Translation by GJM