Ion Tiriac

Born:
May 09, 1939
Place of Birth:
Brasov, Romania
Citizenship:
Romania
Induction Category:
Contributor
Year of Induction:
2013
Highest Ranking
Singles - No. 8
Doubles - No. 19

A successful doubles player turned tennis power broker, Ion Tiriac has been an influential and successful tennis leader in roles ranging from coach to player manager to tournament promoter.

As a child, Tiriac tested his skills in several sports, seeking a platform for opportunity in communist Romania. He found success in ice hockey, and was a member of the 1964 Romanian Olympic team, but switched his focus to tennis soon afterwards.

In addition to the heart and determination he brought to game, Tiriac was a savvy player, and it was this shrewdness that significantly aided his success as a player. In 1968, he reached the quarterfinals of the French Open singles where he fell to Rod Laver, but not before he had taken the first two sets from the esteemed Australian. He was an instrumental part of Romania's Davis Cup team, competing for 15 years, and helping the team advance to the finals three times.

Tiriac and fellow Romanian Ilie Nastase partnered to form a successful doubles team, winning the 1970 French Open doubles title together.

Tiriac took on a mentor type role in the partnership, and parlayed that experience into a successful career in tennis administration. He developed a sharp, business-like approach to tennis and he worked tirelessly to promote the players, grow the tournaments, build up television broadcasts, and to grow the sport overall.

Tiriac went on to manage the careers of top players including Guillermo Vilas, Mary Joe Fernandez, Goran Ivanisevic, and most notably, Boris Becker, who won five Grand Slam titles while working with Tiriac. From a business standpoint, few managers could match Tiriac’s acumen for generating opportunities for players to realize their full financial potential.

Tiriac was a successful promoter and tournament director for numerous events including the ATP World Tour's season-ending Masters Grand Prix, and two of the largest Masters 1000 events, the Italian Open and the Madrid Masters. He is still an active leader and owner of the Mutua Madrid Open. Under his leadership the tournament has grown immensely, and is one of the most well attended annual events in Spain. In addition, he continues to promote tennis in his home country of Romania and is the owner/promoter of the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy, an ATP World Tour 250 event held annually in Bucharest.

Grand Slam Record

French Open

  • Doubles Champion - 1970

Contributions

  • Davis Cup - Finalist Team, 1969, 1971, 1972
  • Influential Coach, Player Manager, Tournament Director