Ilie Nastase apologises for Serena Williams remark
He also discusses his behaviour during a Federations Cup tie against Great Britain18:26 Friday 28 April 2017, 18:26 28 Apr 2017
Romania's Fed Cup tennis captain Ilie Nastase is asking people to accept his apologies after being accused of making racist comments about Serena Williams' unborn baby.
Nastase also says he is sorry for how he behaved at his team's clash with Great Britain where he was banned for abusing visiting players.
But in a statement, he says GB's Johanna Konta was wrong to try and speak to the umpire during the clash and claims that provoked his response.
Romania won the tie 3-2.
Speaking at last week's Fed Cup match between Romania and Great Britain, Nastase was overheard openly speculating on the race of Williams' child. "Let's see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?"
Williams issued a response in which she said, "It disappoints me to know we live in a society in which people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and unborn child, and sexist comments against my peers".
Nastase now says: "The last few days have been difficult for me. My words during the Fed Cup have rightfully caused controversy and upset the audience, the press and, most painfully for me, the tennis world. I will not attempt to defend my words, but I can assure you they only stemmed from my genuine desire to defend the Romanian team and Romanian tennis.
"I am fully aware that nothing can truly excuse my statements - not the tension of a high-stakes game, not my traditionally irreverent attitude, not the unfortunate escalation of the situation.
"My life remains dedicated to tennis and its audiences, so please accept my apologies, for whatever they may be worth right now."
The very best bits delivered every weekSubscribe now