Tennis: Ilie Nastase asking for the room number of British captain Anne Keothavong.
SERENA Williams has launched a stinging attack on Ilie Nastase, accusing the Romanian Fed Cup captain of racially abusing her and her unborn baby and hurling sexist abuse at her fellow female tennis players.
The American has responded publicly for the first time to the controversy which has erupted over Nastase’s astonishing behaviour at his side’s match with Great Britain last weekend.
Nastase was overheard at Friday’s press conference saying about Williams’ unborn baby: “Let’s see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk …?”
He had already asked British team captain Anne Keothavong for her room number.
When play got under way in Constanta on Saturday, Nastase was heard to call Keothavong and Johanna Konta ‘‘f****** bitches’‘ in a rant which has led to his provisional suspension by the ITF.
Writing on Instagram, Williams said: “I disappoints me to know we live in a society which people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and unborn child, and sexist comments against my peers.”
Williams, who returned to the world No. 1 spot on Monday, despite not having played since cruising to the Australian Open title nearly three months ago, announced last week that she was expecting a baby in the autumn. She added in her post: “I have said it once and I’ll say it again, this world has come so far but yet we have so much further to go.
“Yes, we have broken down so many barriers — however there are a plethora more to go.
Serena Williams posted a picture of her baby bump to Snapchat with the caption ’20 Weeks’.
“This or anything else will not stop me from pouring love, light and positivity into everything that I do. I will continue to take a lead and stand up for what’s right.
“I am not afraid unlike you. You see, I am no coward. Does my sassiness upset you. Why are you beset with gloom?
“You may shoot me with your words … you may try to kill me with your hatefulness, but still like air, I rise.
“I humbly thank the ITF for any consideration given to all the facts in this case. They will have my full support.”