Serena Williams Slams Tennis Great Nastase for Racist Comments

The ITF confirmed on Saturday that it had launched an investigation into Nastase’s comments.

Former tennis bad boy Ilie Nastase found himself in deep water on Saturday after being booted out of Romania's Fed Cup tie against Britain, a day after allegations that he made a derogatory comment about Serena Williams' unborn child.

The 70-year-old former French Open and U.S. Open champion, who is captain of Romania's Fed Cup team, was sent from his courtside chair after apparently aiming abuse at the umpire, British player Johanna Konta and visiting captain Anne Keothavong during the second singles rubber.

This, a day after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) launched an investigation on Nastase after he was heard speaking in Romanian to one of his team members about Williams' baby at the Fed Cup draw in Constanta on Friday.

“Let’s see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?” he was quoted as saying.

Williams, who confirmed her pregnancy through a spokeswoman on Wednesday, is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who is white.

The ITF confirmed on Saturday that it had launched an investigation into Nastase's comments.

"The ITF does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language and behaviour of any kind," the Federation said in an emailed statement.

"We are aware of alleged comments made by Romanian Captain Ilie Nastase and have begun an immediate investigation so that we have the full facts of the situation before taking further and appropriate action."

Williams’ Response

Serena Williams, took to social media to issue a scathing response to the former world No 1.

Serena Williams wrote on InstagramIt disappoints me to know we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards me and my unborn child, and sexist comments against my peers.

“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,” Williams added.

Williams also thanked the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for taking the matter further, and assured them that they will have her “full support” in whatever decision they reach.