Tennis star reduces British player to tears with rant

Ben Lee
Photo credit: Rex Shutterstock

From Digital Spy

Dramatic scenes aired during Great Britain's Fed Cup tennis tie against Romania, as former Grand Slam champion Ilie Nastase was sent off over an outburst which saw Johanna Konta reduced to tears.

Romania captain Nastase – who has since been suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) over his actions – started swearing at the umpire during the match between Konta (Great Britain) and Sorana Cirstea (Romania), before hurling abuse at Konta and Great Britain captain Anne Keothavong.

He called the pair "f**king bitches" multiple times, and then was removed from the court.

Photo credit: BBC

But the exchange left Konta shaken, and seemed to worsen when she was heckled by the Romanian home crowd. After dropping serve, she was seen crying.

Officials made the call to suspend the match.

Following a stoppage in play of 25 minutes, the match resumed and Konta reeled off five games in a row to win the match.

Photo credit: BBC

However, Romania ended up winning the Fed Cup tie 3-2.

Nastase's controversial outburst on court came one day after being accused of making a racist remark about Serena Williams' unborn baby – which is also under investigation.

At the draw ceremony on Friday, he was heard speaking in Romanian: "Let's see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?"

Photo credit: Serena Williams / Instagram

Keothavong, who is married, also claimed that during the event, Nastase put his arm around her and asked for her room number.

Nastase had to be escorted out of the premise by security after he was sent off, but – to make matters worse – couldn't resist having a go at a reporter while he was leaving:

Konta said to BBC Sport afterwards of the incident: "It was not something anyone should experience.

"It did upset me quite a lot and that was shown. I am not one to cry on court. It was slightly embarrassing but it affected me more than I would have liked.

"I know that Fed Cups can be quite emotional and can sometimes take an unexpected turn but it wasn't something I was prepared for."

Photo credit: Getty Images

But Nastase seemed unrepentant, saying of the investigation earlier today: "I don't regret it and they can send me to prison if they want – I don't care."

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