Melbourne - Controversial American tennis player Tennys
Sandgren has apologised over a tweet about a visit to a gay club which he said
left "his eyes bleeding".
The 26-year-old, a devout Christian, came under scrutiny
this week during his run to the Australian Open quarter-finals over his
apparent support on Twitter for far-right groups in the United States.
It led to him wiping his social media account while lashing
out at the "dehumanising" media in a sermon-like statement at his
post-match press conference after losing to Chung Hyeon.
He refused to take any questions on his past Twitter
writings, but has been under increasing pressure to address them following
criticism from the likes of Serena Williams.
She was the subject of one Sandgren post over her behaviour
during a 2015 US Open match against Roberta Vinci which he called
Williams said on Wednesday she did not need him to say sorry
to her but that "there is a entire group of people that deserves an
She added that she could not "look at my daughter and
tell her I sat back and was quiet. No! she will know how to stand up for
herself and others - through my example".
Sandgren chose to address a 2012 tweet in which he wrote:
"Stumbled into a gay club last night ... my eyes are still bleeding."
"In regards to the gay club tweet from 2012, I used
poor and harsh words to describe a bad experience, and is not indicative of how
I feel about the people in that community," he said late on Thursday.
"To everyone I offended with that, pls accept my
Among his other now wiped tweets was one where he appeared
to back a debunked online conspiracy in 2016 which linked Hillary Clinton to a
supposed child sex abuse ring at a Washington pizzeria.
He also retweeted a video from white nationalist Nicholas
Sandgren denied in Melbourne that he supported far-right
figures and said who he followed on Twitter "doesn't matter".
In the wake of the controversy and his tennis exploits, he
said before leaving for home in Tennessee that he planned to "turn off my
"This has been a lot of information to digest in the
last few weeks. So I need to take ample time to do so, so I can move forward
correctly," he said.