Ilie Nastase has apologized for comments he made concerning Serena Williams' unborn child.
Nastase, captain of Romania's Fed Cup team, purportedly made racially insensitive remarks relating to Williams' pregnancy, days after the 23-time Grand Slam champion revealed she is expecting her first child with fiance Alexis Ohanian.
Nastase is reported to have said on Friday of Williams' unborn baby: "Let's see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?"
Nastase — who has been provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for a foul-mouthed outburst during Fed Cup play against Great Britan — earlier this week denied that his comments concerning Williams were racist, insisting they were meant as "a joke."
Williams expressed her disappointment in an Instagram post and leant her "full support" to the ITF in its investigation, before on Friday Nastase released a statement on Facebook apologizing for his behavior and offering an explanation.
"I really respect Serena. She is one of the greatest tennis players of all times and I know how much work is behind these results," he said. "At that press conference, I was asked about Serena's pregnancy. That was the first time I had heard about her pregnancy, and my reaction was spontaneous.
"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."