Tags: ilie nastase | banned | tennis | serena williams

Ilie Nastase Banned From Tennis 4 Years for Serena Slur

Ilie Nastase Banned From Tennis 4 Years for Serena Slur

Ilie Nastase former world No. 1 professional tennis player. (Stef22/Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 21 July 2017 03:37 PM

Ilie Nastase was banned from tennis by the International Tennis Federation for four years after making allegedly racially insensitive comments about women's tennis star Serena Williams and other "threatening" comments, the federation announced Friday in a statement.

The former men's grand slam tennis great, 70, was banned from acting in an official capacity in federation competitions through Dec. 31, 2020. The federation said grand slam tournaments "are not included within the sanction, as they lie outside the jurisdiction of the ITF."

The federation also fined Nastase $10,000, adding that he and the Romanian Tennis Federation had 21 days to appeal.

In April, during a Fed Cup match between Great Britain and Romania, Somona Halep, Romanian No. 1 player, was answering a reporter's question about Williams, who is currently pregnant and taking a break from the tour, when Nastase butted in, noted CNN.

"Let's see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?" Nastase reportedly said, per CNN. Williams and her fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who is white, are expecting their first child this summer.

Nastase then made "abusive and threatening comments" to British No. 1 Jo Konta and a female British reporter who reported his comments about Williams, wrote CNN.

Williams responded to Nastase's comments on Instagram on April 24.

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A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

The former No. 1 men's tennis player in the world was also cited by the federation for making "advances of a sexual nature" toward the Great Britain captain Anne Keothavong.

The federation charged he also "refused to leave the court, and deliberately interfered with the opposing team."

Nastase's defense team said at the time that he "comes from a nation where racism is not 'as delicate an issue as it may be in other parts of the world,'" CNN reported. They also pointed to his friendships and partnerships with the late Arthur Ashe and former French Open winner Yannick Noah.

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Ilie Nastase was banned from tennis by the International Tennis Federation for four years after making allegedly racially insensitive comments about women's tennis star Serena Williams and other "threatening" comments, the federation announced Friday in a statement.
ilie nastase, banned, tennis, serena williams
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2017-37-21
Friday, 21 July 2017 03:37 PM
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