| 18 April 1976 (age 39)
Bucharest, Romania (1976-04-18) |
Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
No. 38 (29 May 2000)
Andrew Ilie (born 18 April 1976 in Bucharest, Romania) is a former tennis player. Ilie fled Romania at age 10 with his family, spending a year at a refugee camp in Austria before emigrating to Australia. He turned professional in 1994 and became a citizen of Australia. He was an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder. He won two ATP Tour singles titles (Coral Springs in 1998 and Atlanta in 2000), as well as five Challenger Series tournaments. Ilie reached his career-high singles ranking of World No. 38 on 29 May 2000.
He reached the finals of the Australian Open Jrs in 1994.
Ilie never progressed past the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament, but was a fan-favorite, especially in Australia. Described in 2001 by tennis writer Jon Wertheim as "an emerging cult hero", Ilie developed an avid following whenever he played at the Australian Open in Melbourne. He became well known for adventurous and occasionally outrageous shots, and by ripping his shirt in glee whenever he won a particularly important or hard-fought match. The latter ritual began at the French Open in 1999, as Ilie celebrated his first-round victory in five sets over Jonas Bjorkman, and then repeated the gesture after his second-round victory, also in five sets, over Martin Rodriguez.
The last years of Ilie's career were marred by persistent injuries, including chronic osteitis pubis, which hampered his play. Ilie retired in November 2004. Following retirement, Ilie married and settled in Hong Kong.
Andrew Ilie Wikipedia