WTA Tour

Konta defiant but Romania defy Nastase controversy to win

2017-04-23 17:25
Johanna Konta (Getty Images)

Bucharest - Johanna Konta defended herself for walking off court as Romania brushed aside the controversy surrounding captain Ilie Nastase to beat Britain 3-1 in their scandal-mired Fed Cup play-off on Sunday.

Nastase, 70, a former world number one and two-time Grand Slam title winner, was kicked out of the tie on Saturday after a foul-mouthed rant compounded his controversial racial slur over Serena Williams's unborn baby.

Nastase is said to have made insulting remarks to the umpire, Britain's pregnant captain Anne Keothavong and their number one Konta.

The latter burst into tears -- leading to the rubber being temporarily suspended -- and left the court, subsequently being criticised by her opponent at the time Sorana Cirstea for overdoing it.

"With all due respect to Sorana she was not in my shoes on that end of the court being verbally threatened," Konta, who according to some reports was abused by a fan, told the BBC on Sunday.

"Any abuse is not alright, but when it's a couple of metres away from you, screaming at you, I think that's a different ball game.

"It's not something that you truly know how it affects you until you experience it so I do believe she may have been slightly unaware of the events."

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said it is looking into Nastase's behaviour on Saturday and the day before, when he was overheard making derogatory remarks about US superstar Williams.

Romania on Sunday let their tennis do the talking, sealing the World Group II tie when Irina-Camelia Begu defeated Heather Watson 6-4 7-5 in Constanta.

However, the victor did not shake hands with her opponent at the end of the rubber according to reporters courtside.

Simona Halep -- who on Saturday had urged the crowd to calm down -- had earlier put the hosts in control by beating Konta 6-1, 6-3.

Defeat relegated Britain to the Europe/Africa Zone.

Read more on:    fed cup  |  tennis
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