WTA slam Nas­tase’s pres­ence

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MADRID: The head of women’s ten­nis has con­demned Madrid Open or­gan­is­ers for al­low­ing con­tro­ver­sial Ro­ma­nian Fed Cup cap­tain Ilie Nas­tase to take part in the tro­phy pre­sen­ta­tion cer­e­mony fol­low­ing Satur­day’s fi­nal.

The 70-year-old is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion (ITF) fol­low­ing last month’s Fed Cup tie with Bri­tain, where he swore at mem­bers of the op­pos­ing team and made a deroga­tory re­mark about Ser­ena Williams’s un­born child.

How­ever, the for­mer World No 1 shared the stage with Madrid cham­pion and com­pa­triot Si­mona Halep, who de­fended her ti­tle with a 7-5 6-7 (5) 6-2 vic­tory over French­woman Kristina Mlade­n­ovic.

“It was an ex­cit­ing fi­nal match and I heartily con­grat­u­late Si­mona and Kristina for their out­stand­ing dis­play of ten­nis,” Women’s Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion (WTA) CEO Steve Si­mon said in a state­ment on the govern­ing body’s web­site. (www.wtaten­nis.com)

“The only shadow cast on the day was Mr Nas­tase’s in­vi­ta­tion to par­tic­i­pate in to­day’s award cer­e­mony. He had no place on court to­day,” Si­mon added.

“He is cur­rently un­der a pro­vi­sional sus­pen­sion by the ITF for his prior of­fen­sive ac­tions and we re­voked his cre­den­tial priv­i­leges at WTA events while the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is be­ing com­pleted.”

Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dents at the World Group play­off tie in Con­stanta, the French Open an­nounced that Nas­tase would not be given ac­cred­i­ta­tion to this year ’s tour­na­ment, while Wim­ble­don or­gan­is­ers have also moved to deny him en­try to their event.

Si­mon ex­pressed his dis­ap­point­ment that the Madrid Open had adopted a more re­laxed ap­proach to­wards the Ro­ma­nian.

“It was both ir­re­spon­si­ble and un­ac­cept­able of the Madrid Open to be­stow him an of­fi­cial role,” he added.

“The Madrid tour­na­ment is a Premier-level event and held to the high­est stan­dards of pro­fes­sional ten­nis and lead­er­ship which were not re­flected to­day.” Reuters

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