FedCup match suspended after Ilie Nastase calls Johanna Konta and Anne Keothavong 'f***ing b*****s'

Despite being left visibly upset by Nastase's comments, Great Britain's Konta went on to win the match when play resumed

Samuel Lovett
Saturday 22 April 2017 13:29
Fed Cup tie in Romania descends into chaos after Nastase tirade

Great Britain's FedCup Group II play-off in Romania was briefly suspended during Saturday's singles after Ilie Nastase, the former world No 1, verbally abused Johanna Konta and Anne Keothavong as he was ejected from court for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Romania head coach was heard to have said to match umpire Andreas Egli "It's not the opera, what's your f****** problem?" after the crowd had been told to respect the players.

Having already received two official warnings prior to then, Nastase proceeded to argue with the umpire before being instructed to leave the court.

As he left, the 70-year-old was then alleged to have called Keothavong, Great Britain's head coach, and Konta "f****** bitches".

Johanna Konta and Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu together before Saturday's matches

The second singles match between Konta and Sorana Cirstea was 2-1 to the Romanian in the second set when the incident took place.

Konta was left visibly upset by Nastase's comments, prompting the umpire to suspend play.

Simona Halep, current world No 5, was then seen asking the home fans to calm down as officials attempted to bring order to the court.

The match eventually resumed after a 25 minute break and Konta held her nerve to win the next five games in a row to win the match 6-2 6-3.

The result brings the FedCup tie level at 1-1.

A statement released by the International Tennis Federation confirmed that an investigation has been launched into Nastase's comments.

It read: "Mr Nastase was asked to leave the court by ITF Referee Andreas Egli for unsportsmanlike conduct, having already received two official warnins. Mr Nastase was also removed from the grounds due to his serious misconduct.

"His accreditation was removed and he will play no further part in the tie. The ITF has launched an investigation into this matter as well as previous comments made by Mr Nastase during the week."

Nastase was dismissed from court for his behaviour

Earlier in the day, Nastase launched into an astonishing rant at a British journalist, calling her "stupid" for reporting his apparently racist comment about Serena Williams' pregnancy.

Romania's captain was unhappy after his comments were reported about Williams' baby, which is due in the autumn. "Let's see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?," he was heard to say on Friday.

On Saturday morning - the opening day of Romania's Fed Cup play-off against Great Britain - Nastase stormed into the press centre at the Tenis Club IDU in Constanta to seek out the British media.

He said to the Press Association's Eleanor Crooks: "Why did you write that? You're stupid, you're stupid."

The tirade took place in front of a number of members from the Romanian media and, according to Crooks, lasted between two and three minutes.

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