In the history of tennis, there’s nobody who is as gifted or puzzled then Ilie Nastase, or 'Bucharest Buffoon' which is his nickname. More than his spell with the racket, he was in the news for his offensive behaviour on the court. He was arguably the biggest entertainer on the court. He didn’t just entertain the crowd by producing magic from his racket but by his mimicry and antics, amusing the spectators.
He was instrumental in Romania reaching the final of the Davis cup thrice but on all occasions losing to the US in the finals. He started playing Davis Cup from 1966 and hanged his boots after playing the 1985 Davis Cup only after winning more than 100 Davis Cup matches a record which is still unchallenged.
He first came to the limelight after reaching the finals of the French Open Men’s Doubles finals. He during the decade of the 1970s concentrated more on singles and reached Wimbledon finals twice but failed to lift the trophy in his illustrious tennis career. He though had the privilege of winning the US and the French Open titles and finished the career with 2 Grand Slams to his name. After the rankings were introduced, he reached the number one rankings for the first time in his career in August 1973. He won World Tour finals four times in his career.
On the court he was the most controversial player and his career was ruined by disqualifications, fines, and suspensions. Off the court though, he was a likable and good-natured person. He became the first European in the Open era to received prize money in excess $1 million in 1976. He was inducted into the Tennis Hall of fame in the year 1991.
He made his foray into politics in 1990 and was elected from the Bucharest seat to the Romanian Senate in the year 2012.