For those who aren’t aware, I use the goat emoji whenever I talk about Simona Halep on Twitter. Many times I’ve been asked, “who’s goat?” Sometimes it seemed like people had been wondering for a while. It wasn’t a secret though. Whenever I was asked, I answered. I even had it in my Twitter profile and still do. I didn’t keep it private on how it all started either. It all happened on Twitter. But since I’ve been asked so many times and people seem to like that I named her that; I thought I’d give the story about how Simona Halep got named GOAT. Well here it is. Time to put all the confusion and curiousness to rest.
GOAT stands for “Greatest of All Time.” People are always debating who the best player ever is in each sport, position, and generation. They claim the best player is the GOAT. GOAT just so happens to be an acronym that shares a name with an animal: a goat! So to signify a great player, a picture of the animal can be used, since the name is shared. Let’s take a look at one of these animals.
How did you name Simona Halep GOAT?
It all started when I began looking at the results of every tournament each week in 2013. I noticed this girl, Simona Halep, winning all these 280 events. Three in over the span of a month. She won Nurnberg, ‘S-Hertogenbosch, and Budapest. I thought she was only good when playing at these lower level tournaments, but then her success transcended beyond 280 events. She made the quarterfinals at the Premier 5 tournament in Cincinnati. In the process she beat Marion Bartoli so badly it drove Bartoli into retirement (I had to). Halep’s next tournament after Cincinnati was New Haven and this was all where it began. She ended up winning the event. A 470! Along the way she beat Wozniacki, who’d been so dominant at that tournament. Wozniacki won the tournament four years in a row from 2008-2011 and her only loss had been from a retirement the previous year. Halep gave Wozniacki her first real loss in New Haven. It was a quick turnaround for Simona after that semifinal because she had to play a day match after a night match. In the final she played Petra Kvitova. I was impressed how she played to win yet another tournament, so
She wasn’t just the GOAT of 280’s now. She was the GOAT. Halep was playing the best players, competing well, contending with them, and getting wins. Halep did it on all surfaces too. That win in New Haven gave her tournament wins on every surface in just a few months. She was ranked very low at the time, so winning all these tournaments and having all this success isn’t as expected as someone who’s ranked in the top ten. That’s why she got the name GOAT.
I tweeted a few more times the rest of the season saying she was the GOAT.
At the US Open
After she won Moscow
I even foresaw the Sofia championship and top ten
I didn’t forget about it during the offseason. It continued into 2014
But then it evolved into emojis and I’ve never looked back
Just to clarify, I’m not actually saying she’s the best WTA player ever. She hasn’t won a major or even a Premier Mandatory yet. I was using it to show how consistently she was playing with a lower ranking. It mostly started as kind of a joke. But wouldn’t you know it, Halep got really good! Now number three in the world. Who’d have thought a player ranked outside the top 50 would go on such a run in a short span to become ranked as high as number two? Halep is still very young, so who knows, maybe she WILL become the greatest of all time. Oh what a story that’d be 😉
So that’s the story on how Halep got named goat, but I’ll bet you didn’t know there was a second goat for a little while. Yes, someone had done very well at the US Open and then the Australian Open. It all culminated into one breakthrough in the American spring season. Do you know yet? Well here it is:
FLAVIA PENNETTA. She had another great tournament in Indian Wells with a breakthrough win. Seeded 20th for the tournament, she won the Premier Mandatory. She got the name much like Halep did. Flavia was consistent in the big tournaments and had some great results being ranked very low. But it didn’t last. After Indian Wells, Flavia did poorly and the tag was stripped from her.
Only six times did I tweet Flavia was goat #2 before it was taken away from her, so I’m sure nobody knew about it or remembers it, but it’s a fun little bit of goat trivia.