Steffi Graf-Andre Agassi lose to Simona Halep-Andrei Pavel as Cluj-Napoca brings out tennis legends for sports festival

The city of Cluj-Napoca in Romania knows how to put on a world-class tennis event. The WTA Transylvania Open, held in this city, has been voted the best WTA 250 event for the past two years in a row.

The Romanians pulled off another tennis spectacle on Saturday with an exhibition mixed doubles match between tennis legends Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, winners of 30 Grand Slam singles titles between them, and Romanians Simona Halep and Andrei Pavel.

The match was scheduled as one of the headlining events of the city’s ongoing SportsFestival, a unique sports fest that aims to help citizens rediscover the joy of playing sports.Held at the BTarena, which can seat 10,000 fans, the event was sold out, thanks to the popularity of Halep, playing in front of her home fans for the first time in two years, and the rare chance to see Agassi and Graf play side-by-side.
The evening, with past Romanian Grand Slam winners Ilie Nastase, Ion Tiriac, and Virgina Rucizi in attendance, began with a choreographed sequence featuring eight women, who looked like female colleagues of James Bond.The four players were joined by former American player, Justin Gimelstob and former Romanian player, Horia Tecau. The action kicked off with a men’s doubles set between Agassi-Gimelstob and Tecau-Pavel. Former Romanian player Rolaca Olaru was in the chair for the evening as Halep and Graf came on the court as substitutes late in the set for a couple of games before the four men resumed and Tecau-Pavel won the set.

As in most exhibition matches, the four players played just below full strength and tried to engage in longer rallies. At the same time, the pairs also showcased some of the brilliant aspects of the game – including the German’s famous Fraulein forehand and the Agassi double-fisted backhand.There were also plenty of lighter moments, including Graf’s reaction to a fan’s marriage proposal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *