Ilie Nastase's previous Fed Cup misconduct laid bare by Belgian captain - 'he called me a big bitch'

Simon Briggs
Dominique Monami was insulted by Ilie Nastase when Belgium faced Romania in the Fed Cup in February  - NurPhoto

Ilie Nastase’s previous Fed Cup misconduct was on Tuesday described in full by Dominique Monami, the Belgian captain who had to put up with his abuse when her team travelled to Romania in February.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, 43-year-old Monami related how Nastase had opened conversation with her by asking her how old she was, and then saying “I only go with women half my age.” She then endured a captain’s meeting with him where “He only talked about himself and his book and his career, he didn’t even say hello.”

But the confrontation started in earnest on the Sunday, as Elise Mertens was playing Irina-Camelia Begu. As Monami explains “At a certain moment he clapped before the ball had touched the ground. I said to the umpire, ‘He cannot do that,’ and he called me a grosse conne [big bitch] in French.

“It went on for two more games, he wanted to have a fight. I decided, ‘Don’t think about anything but tennis, keep your emotions under control.’ While he was talking, I just kept looking at the umpire and referee and saying ‘Could you ask him to stop now, this is not the way it should be.’ After those two games, he gave up because he could see I wasn’t paying attention.

“So when I read about the British tie I was not surprised, even though he went way over what he did with us. He is disrespectful about women because he can get anybody in Romania. Maybe he thinks a woman is a thing not a person.

“I am a bit surprised that there was nothing in the officials’ reports about what happened, because I was talking to them about him during the match. But I didn’t make any complaint afterwards. We won, that was all I cared about.”

Nastase is serving a provisional suspension while the International Tennis Federation investigate his conduct, which included throwing the insult "----ing bitches" at British Fed Cup captain Anne Keothavong and her top player Johanna Konta.

"I respect him because of what he has done in tennis," said Romania's No. 1 Simona Halep on Tuesday. "But the way he treated people this weekend was a little bit difficult and not nice: I cannot accept this."

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