All Eyes on Simona Halep

Simona Halep, a Romanian tennis player who’s ranked a career-best #4 in the world, now stands as the highest seed at the French Open, following shocking upsets to Serena Williams, Li Na, and Agnieska Radwanska, the world’s #1, #2 and #3 women’s players, respectively.  To get to this pedestal, Halep has undergone drastic changes, not just as a tennis player, but as a woman.

Halep first gained international attention not for her prowess on the tennis court, but rather for her prominent breasts, which were a size 34 DD by the time she was 17.  Obviously she was carrying around a lot of added weight, which was hindering her agility and causing back pain (a normal complaint of many women with large breasts).  So, Halep made a life-changing decision, one that not only she, but scores of observers, have credited with helping her become one of the top female tennis players in the world.  She had breast reduction surgery.

Breast reduction surgery is not uncommon.  But the decision to do so is controversial, particularly for someone in the public eye.  Since having the surgery in 2009, Halep has gotten both praise, for her meteoric rise through the tennis circuit, and criticism, for the decision she made to change her appearance so noticeably.  Halep defends her decision, saying that she would’ve done it even if she wasn’t in sports, saying that it made her uncomfortable in everyday life, not just on the tennis court.

I’m also sure that, getting attention for her figure and not her sports ability, she hated the whistles and catcalls she got.  And fans around the world know her better—even now—as “that tennis player with the big boobs”.  Now that she has the best chance of anyone to win the big one, maybe she’ll be able to change that perception to “that tennis player who won the French Open”.

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