WTA Tour: Porsche Tennis Grand Prix- October 10th, 1997

No.8 IRINA SPIRLEA (ROM-9) vs. ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO (ESP-11) Head-to Head: Tied 3-3 Indoor Head-to-Head: First meeting Last Meeting: 1997 Eastbourne, Grass, QF, Sanchez Vicario won 6-4, 6-4

Spirlea Quick Facts: Filderstadt Notes * Previously played at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in 1994. * Best performance: reaching the 1997 quarterfinals

1997 Facts * This is Irina's 10th quarterfinal and 19th tournament of the year. * Recorded a career best Grand Slam performance, by reaching the semifinals of 1997 US Open; upset second seed Monica Seles in the quarterfinals 6-7(5),7-6(8),6-3 ending an 0-4 head-to-head career record. * At 1997 Australian Open, reached first career Grand Slam quarterfinal becoming the first Romanian to reach this stage at the Australian Open since Virginia Ruzici in 1980; also surpassed $1million in career prize money. * Reached first Tier I-level final at 1997 Indian Wells, defeating fourth ranked (and top seed) Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the semifinals; came back from match- point down in second-round match against Alexia Dechaume-Balleret; following tournament, ranking moved up to a career high No.9

Career Notes * First ranked among the world's Top 10 on December 23, 1996, the first Romanian woman to do so since Virginia Ruzici in 1981 * Defeated world Top 10 players five times in 1996 * Ranked 22nd, won biggest title of career at 1996 Amelia Island by defeating No. 14 Mary Pierce in final; garnered then-best win of career to date by upsetting third-ranked Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in semifinals; ranking vaulted to a then-career high No. 18; defeated Pierce again at 1996 Eastbourne * Reached fourth round of 1996 French Open, ousting 10th-ranked Brenda Schultz-McCarthy in the third round * Toppled sixth-ranked Gabriela Sabatini to reach quarterfinals at 1996 Hilton Head * Upset Arantxa Sanchez Vicario for a second time in 1996 at the Italian Open quarterfinals; Sanchez Vicario was ranked No. 2, giving Spirlea her best-ever win

(taken from CNN/SI)