Nastase hits back after Wimbledon snub

Ilie Nastase (Getty Images)
Ilie Nastase (Getty Images)

Cape Town - After it was confirmed that Ilie Nastase would not be invited to the Royal Box at Wimbledon, the Romanian has now called the All England Club ‘narrow minded’.

Nastase was ejected from the Fed Cup match between Great Britain and Romania following a foul-mouthed tirade directed at his British counterpart Anne Keothavong and British number one Johanna Konta.

During the same week he made a number of other questionable remarks – including one directed at Serena Williams and her unborn baby.

The All England Club indicated last week that it would not be extending the two-time Wimbledon finalist's customary invitation to the Royal Box in 2017.

"What he did, we have to say, his actions were not very good, and we condemn them,” All England Club chairman Philip Brook said recently.

"In terms of an invitation to the Royal Box, he is not going to receive an invitation this year."

Nastase was quick to respond, accusing the All England Club of being ‘small-minded’.

In an interview with ProSport, Nastase also said that Wimbledon officials have short memories - he was one of only four seeded men's players to defy a boycott of the Championships in 1973.

"Look at it however you want, revenge maybe? I don't care,” Nastase said.

"In 1973, when everyone else refused to play at Wimbledon but I did - does that not count for something? Do they not think about that?

"But if they are going to be so small-minded about it, there's nothing I can do. What does Wimbledon have to do with what I said about Serena and at the match in Romania?

"If I did something stupid at Wimbledon then I'd understand if I were then suspended. But, in this case, I don't get it.

"If they consider it normal to deny someone the chance to watch tennis matches, then that's their problem. It must mean we Romanians are morons, otherwise I don't understand it."

Nastase has been provisionally suspended by the ITF following the unsavoury incidents in Constanta. 

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