Thursday 21 September 2017

French Open follow Wimbledon and ban Ilie Nastase from tournament

BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 18: Laureus World Sports Academy member Ilie Nastase is interviewed prior to the 2016 Laureus World Sports Awards at Messe Berlin on April 18, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images for Laureus)
BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 18: Laureus World Sports Academy member Ilie Nastase is interviewed prior to the 2016 Laureus World Sports Awards at Messe Berlin on April 18, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images for Laureus)

Ilie Nastase has been barred from a second grand slam this year after French Open organisers followed their Wimbledon counterparts.

Nastase, Romania's Fed Cup captain, was provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) after his behaviour during April's tie against Great Britain.

The former French and US Open champion made an apparently racist comment about Serena Williams' unborn baby and repeatedly asked British captain Anne Keothavong for her room number during press conferences before the tie.

He then launched foul-mouth abuse at Keothavong, British number one Johanna Konta and tie referee Andreas Egli, causing Konta's match to be briefly suspended as she left the court in tears, and also confronted Press Association Sport tennis correspondent Eleanor Crooks on two occasions.

It was announced on Wednesday that Nastase would not receive his traditional invitation to Wimbledon's royal box.

And on Saturday, the 70-year-old learned he would also not be welcome at Roland Garros, scene of his 1973 triumph.

A statement on the official Roland Garros Twitter account read: "Following the decision of his suspension by the @ITF_Tennis, Mr. Ilie Nastase won't be accredited for #RG17."

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