Giulia Safina Popa, the rising star of Romanian tennis, has become an inspiring success story at just 13 years old. She is currently ranked #2 in Girls Under 14, #27 in Girls Under 16, and #326 in the ITF Junior Rankings. Could this young talent be the next Simona Halep?

This left-handed player’s journey has since Kungens Kanna & Drottningens Pris tournament in November 2022 really kicked off, where she showcased remarkable skills on the Tennis Europe Tour and in the ITF Junior Tour. Popa made an impressive mark by reaching the finals in both singles and doubles categories in a level 1 tournament held in Bolton, Great Britain. She also secured a spot in the final of the super category tournament, Les Petits As – Mondial Lacoste, France. During the event, Popa faced off against KLTK player Rebecca Malmström in the round of 32 and later met Anna Pushkareva in the finals. Pushkareva sought redemption after losing to Popa in the Drottningens Pris final in November 2022. Pushkareva managed to defeat Popa with a score of 7-5, 6-1.

Throughout 2023, Popa continued to make her mark in the tennis world. She clinched a category 1 title in the U14 division in Spain and followed up with her first U16 title in Barcelona, all while still being 13 years old. Her winning streak persisted as she secured a category 2 U14 title in Serbia and achieved the title of European Doubles Champion alongside her partner, Ioana-Stefania Boian. In singles, Popa showcased her skills by reaching the semifinals.

In April 2023, Popa stepped onto the U18 circuit, a move that might seem early for some, but it didn’t faze the determined Romanian. In March, she earned her first ITF Juniors Title at the Latvia J60 tournament, starting from the qualifiers. Her winning spree continued with victories at the J30 tournament on home turf in April and the J60 tournament in Hungary. The pinnacle of her young career came in Poland, where she secured victory in the J100 tournament.

As of now, Popa’s success rate on the ITF Junior Tour stands at an impressive 88%, boasting 30 wins and only 4 losses in total. Her achievements make her the second youngest Romanian female player to claim such titles, following in the footsteps of Simona Halep. If Giulia Safina Popa continues her remarkable progress, she could potentially match or even surpass the achievements of Halep.