Romanians a popular group in Toronto

TORONTO – Being the multicultural city that it is – and being the size it is – Toronto comes equipped with significant potential cheering sections for nearly every player in the Rogers Cup draw.

And the Romanians are right up there. 

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There aren’t too many places in the world where Marius Copil and Horia Tecau are going to get some solid love coming off the practice court.

Not to mention the love shown when Simona Halep comes to town every two years.

She was a finalist in 2015 and a semifinalist last year (sandwiching a title in Montreal in 2016, a city where there is also a strong Romanian contingent).

Here they are with some fans after Tecau warmed up Copil for his first-round qualifying match on Saturday.

Tough road to T.O.

In Copil’s case, he arrived in Toronto dead on his feet, after finding it impossible to get flights from Washington, D.C. to Toronto in time to be fresh for his first-round qualifying match on Saturday.

Copil reached the third round at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. last week – losing a late-night thrilled to Andy Murray in a third-set tiebreak.

Then, it was about getting to Toronto.

He started off well against Yoshihito Nishioka, but hit the wall and ended up losing in, yes, a third-set tiebreak.

(In other news, Copil and his longtime coach have parted ways).

Meanwhile, Tecau is back

Romanians

The 36-year-old, ranked a career-best No. 3 in 2015 and the defending US Open champion with Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands, has been missing in action since pulling out of Monte Carlo without playing a match.

When you see one member of a well-established team suddenly freelancing, it usually means an injury.

And that was indeed the case. Tecau told Tennis.Life that he tore his plantar fascia. It took nearly three months to heal it and more weeks to get back into playing shape.

He finally returned to action this week in Toronto with Rojer. And they finally got on the match court Thursday and posted a 6-3, 3-6, [10-5] win over Ben McLachlan and Matwe Middelkoop.

In the interim, here’s the list of players Rojer teamed up with: Qureshi (Barcelona, Lyon, French Open and the grass-court season), Peers (Estoril), Haase (Madrid and Rome), Ivan Dodig (Hamburg) and Rajeev Ram (D.C.).

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