The wild ride of Patricia Maria Tig

There are certain players, if you’re travelling the circuit, that randomly capture your attention.

And then, sometimes they just disappear without a trace.

Until, just as suddenly, you see their name pop up in a draw again. And you wonder, what the heck happened?

Patricia Maria Tig of Romania is one of those players.

We first noticed her at Charleston in 2016, because she was playing Laura Robson in the first round of qualifying and we had headed to her court to see Robson.

Big, tall, strong girl, hit the ball a ton with some variety and touch. Bore a passing resemblance (facially) to Simona Halep. Maybe with a little bit of Mona Barthel in there.

She qualified, and won the first set before losing to Laura Siegemund in the first round. (Siegemund got to the quarters that year and, a couple of weeks later, made her run from the qualifying to the final in Stuttgart).

A year later, after losing in the first round of five straight events to start the season, she defeated Heather Watson and Kristina Mladenovic (then ranked No. 18) and found herself in the third round against Venus Williams in Miami.

After that event, she got to her career high of No. 83 – and proceeded to barely win a match the rest of the season. She had a lot of injuries, including back issues.

Tig

A collapse – and a disappearance

In Guangzhou in mid-September 2017, Tig collapsed and vomited at the back of the court during a first-round match against Danka Kovinic.

And then, she just … fell off the face of the earth. Until now.

Suddenly, this month at the entry level in Cancun, with no ranking, Tig reappeared. she played her fourth straight $15,000 ITF this week.

It hasn’t gone well. She retired in her first tournament, lost first round in her second, and then pulled out before her quarterfinal in the third event. On Wednesday, she retired again – down 0-4 in the first set.

During that time off the grid, there was a rumour that she was pregnant.

And, it turns out, that was actually true.

Here’s an Instagram pic from countrywoman Alexandra Dulgheru two months ago.

That’s one big baby! It’s reportedly a girl named Sofia, born Nov. 30.

Tig can come back and use a protected ranking (she was at No. 128 when she last played in 2017 but the number is likely just outside the top 150) when she’s ready.

(She didn’t use that ranking to enter the French Open qualifying. Might be a little too soon).

So far, it looks to be a bit of struggle.

We’ll keep an eye on her. She sure has lived quite a bit of life in just 24 years.

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. 

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.).