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Romanian Tennis Great Nastase Kicked Out Of Fed Cup After 'Serious Misconduct'

Ilie Nastase (file photo)
Ilie Nastase (file photo)

Romanian tennis legend Ilie Nastase has been kicked out of the Fed Cup after abusing players, journalists, and the umpire at a World Group playoff in Constanta, tennis officials said.

Team captain Nastase, 70, was thrown out after the comments on April 22 – one day after apparently making racially offensive comments about the unborn child of U.S. star Serena Williams.

David Haggerty, president of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), assailed Nastase for his "unacceptable behavior" and "serious misconduct." The ITF said it has begun an investigation.

Officials said he was heard hurling crude insults at British team members Anne Keothavong and Johanna Konta, who broke down in tears after Nastase's rant.

"What Nastase said to me and Johanna is language that is not appropriate for anyone to speak to any other human," Keothavong told

The previous day, he was heard making racially derogatory comments in Romanian about Williams, who recently announced her pregnancy.

Nastase defended himself to Romanian television.

"This was a joke," he said about his comments on Williams' unborn child. "If someone didn’t understand it, they lack humor…They have their own humor, and we have our humor."

Based on reporting by AFP, ESPN, and AP

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