Ilie Nastase apologises to Serena Williams over Racist Comment

Romanian tennis legend Ilie Nastase has apologized for derogatory comments about Serena Williams and for a foul-mouthed Fed Cup tirade that saw him suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

He, however, had another pop at Britain’s Johanna Konta, who was left in tears during last weekend’s combustible Fed tie.

“My words during the Fed Cup have rightfully caused controversy and upset the audience, the press and, most painfully for me, the tennis world,” the former world number one, said on Facebook.

He said that his comments last Friday about the pregnant Williams talking about her baby being “chocolate with milk” was a “spontaneous” reaction to hearing she was expecting her first child.

“I was five when I first picked up a racket. Since then, tennis has been more than a sport or a profession for me. Tennis has been, and is, my life, and for tennis I have sacrificed almost everything, personal or professional. Unfortunately, now, in my 70s, I have somehow managed to do something I have never wanted or even imagined: to feel tennis moving further away from me.

The last few days have been difficult for me. My words during the Fed Cup have rightfully caused controversy and upset the audience, the press and, most painfully for me, the tennis world. I will not attempt to defend my words, but I can assure you they only stemmed from my genuine desire to defend the Romanian team and Romanian tennis.

I am fully aware that nothing can truly excuse my statements – not the tension of a high-stakes game, not my traditionally irreverent attitude, not the unfortunate escalation of the situation. My life remains dedicated to tennis and its audiences, so please accept my apologies, for whatever they may be worth right now.

I’m fully aware that nothing can truly excuse my statements -– not the tension of a high-stakes game, not my traditionally irreverent attitude, not the unfortunate escalation of the situation. My life remains dedicated to tennis and its audiences, so please accept my apologies, for whatever they may be worth right now.” he said.

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