After a heated FedCup match between Great Britain and Romania, things appeared to be on course for an amicable settlement after Ilie Nastase sent flowers to the rival head coach Anne Keothavong to make up for his actions.
During the post-match press conference, the 33-year-old revealed to the media that she indeed received flowers from the Romanian tennis association but was not aware whom it was from.
Keothavong was instantly informed it was from Nastase to which she reacted by saying: “They were from Illie? Nice! Unfortunately, I can’t take them on the plane home with me.”
The incident for which Nastase possibly apologised by gifting flowers happened at the FedCup Group II play-off singles match in Romania between Johanna Konta and Sorana Cirstea, when the Brit led the Romanian 2-1 in the second set.
The former world number one was heard insulting the umpire as well as members of Great Britain present at the venue.
Video: Keothavong's reaction to Nastase's flowers
How Nastase embarrassed himself
The umpire, Andreas Egli initially warned him for unsportsmanlike behaviour and instructed him refrain from such actions but Nastase refused to oblige. He continued to hurl abuses which forced the match official to eject him from the court for his conduct.
As he left, the legend was apparently heard calling Keothavong and Konta “f****** b*****s”, as per the Independent.
Konta was visibly upset with the turn of events and she was reduced to tears due to the comments, prompting the umpire to suspend play in order to bring order to court.
The match was ultimately resumed after a stoppage of 25 minutes as Konta impressed right from the start, winning the next five games in a row to win the tie 6-2, 6-3.
The result of the game brings the tie between the two nations level at 1-1.
It was not the first time Nastase has been in the news for the wrong reasons as earlier that day he called a British journalist ‘stupid’ for reporting his racist comments on Serena Williams’ pregnancy.
Later in the day, a statement was released by the International Tennis Federation disclosing that an investigation has been launched against the Romanian legend for his comments during the match.
“Mr Nastase was asked to leave the court by ITF Referee Andreas Egli for unsportsmanlike conduct, having already received two official warnings. 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.”
It remains to be seen if Keothavong and her team accepts the apology from the veteran but such deplorable actions during the game from an individual of Nastase’s stature is truly uncalled for.News Now - Sport News