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Tennis: Simona Halep presents Wimbledon trophy on National Arena in front of 20,000 Bucharesters

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
Inquam Simona Halep Arena Națională

Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, WTA's 4th, presented the trophy won in the tournament of Wimbledon, the second Grand Slam of her career after Roland Garros, on Wednesday evening, within a ceremony organised on the National Arena of the Capital, which saw approximately 20,000 Bucharesters in attendance. 

Youth, parents with children, as well as elders came to the biggest stadium of Romania to give a warm welcome to the first tennis player in Romania's history to have won the trophy on the London grass court in the singles event. 

Simona Halep was welcomed at the entrance to the pitch by twelve great Romanian sportsmen. Bearing flags, Ilie Nastase, Gheorghe Popescu, Marius Urzica, Diana Bulimar, Gabriela Szabo, Ionela Tirlea, Monica Rodu, Mihai Leu, Marian Dragulescu, Paula Ivan, Alina Dumitru and Doina Melinte gave a triumphal welcome to the Wimbledon winner. 

The fans applauded for minutes on end, waved tricolour flags and chanted her name several times. "Simona, Simona" was the favourite chant of the fans on the National Arena, who also displayed some banners reading "Go, Simona!," "Simona, we love you!." 

"You have given me a great joy to have you by my side this evening, to enjoy this trophy, because it is ours, of the country, in the first place. It is a special evening to me, I know last year it was the same, but now it seems to be even more special. Let's enjoy together and think that days like this can come in the future as well. I have been inspired by these great champions of Romania who have come by my side this evening. It is an honour to have you by my side, to share this joy with all of you. I thank Romania because I was born here and I wish to live here all my life. I would like to devote part of this trophy to my mother, as it was her dream for me to win at Wimbledon," Halep told her fans. 

The entrance to the event was free, singer Andra performed Romania's anthem, while the giant screens on stage displayed images from the Wimbledon final, which Simona Halep won to US player Serena Williams. 

Among the sports personalities attending the event were Gheorghe Hagi, Loredana Dinu, George Cosac, while Nadia Comaneci, Camelia Potec, Nicu Vlad and Ana Maria Branza sent her video messages which could be watched on the screens on the National Arena. 

Romanian Tennis Federation Chairman Ion Tiriac commented with Simona Halep the most important moments of the final with Serena Williams, and singers Irina Baiantz and Andrei Lazar performed one song each dedicated to the Romanian tennis player. 

Simona Halep won the tournament of Wimbledon, after she defeated, on 13 July, in the final, US player Serena Williams, 6-2, 6-2. Halep brought Romania the first title in the singles event of Wimbledon, after two finals lost by Ilie Nastase, in 1972, with Stan Smith (US), and in 1976, with Bjorn Borg (Sweden). 

Halep won her second Grand Slam title, after the success recorded in 2018 in Roland Garros. 

The Romanian tennis player, aged 27, received a 2,350,000 GBP cheque and 2,000 WTA points, and Williams won 1,175,000 GBP and 1,300 WTA points.

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