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.
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.
Patricia Maria Tig retired in Guangzhou after becoming ill at back of the court. Was able to walk off with help eventually. pic.twitter.com/1AgHQwvGFq
— Graham (@juki_tennis) September 18, 2017
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.