Photo: Srdjan StevanovicITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and Heart Award winner Simona Halep (ROU) with representatives from the Romanian Paralympic team
Ciprian Anton, Mihai Gaita and Ionut Filisan, the three members of Romania’s BNP Paribas World Team Cup men’s squad in 2014, have accepted a donation on behalf of the National Paralympic Team of Romania from Fed Cup player Simona Halep.
Halep was one of three players, along with Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska and Teliana Pereira of Brazil, to receive Fed Cup Heart Awards during a busy weekend of Fed Cup competition.
They were all recognised for their Fed Cup performances in February after a public vote on FedCup.com and FedCup.com/es.
The Heart Award winners each received a cheque to be donated to their chosen charity and Halep opted to give her check for $1,000 to the National Paralympic Team of Romania. Anton, Gaita and Filisan received the cheque on Friday ahead of Romania’s 4-1 win over Serbia in the World Group II play-offs.
Halep said: "It means a lot to me because it shows my desire to play for my country and I am really glad that I won it. I decided to donate the cheque to the Romanian Paralympic team because they are living a difficult life and need all the support they can get from us."
Anton, Gaita and Filisan represented their country in the BNP Paribas World Team Cup European Qualification event in Antalya, Turkey last month - finishing sixth of the 11 teams at one of the four regional qualifications for the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event.
Wheelchair tennis was also in the spotlight at the USA v France World Group play-off in St. Louis.
Former world No. 1 quad singles player and three-time Paralympic quad doubles gold medallist Nick Taylor performed the coin toss before Sunday’s singles rubber between Sloane Stephens and Virginie Razzano.
Taylor’s Paralympic gold medal-winnlng doubles partner David Wagner also performed one of the coin tosses during February's Davis Cup by BNP Paribas tie between USA and Great Britain.