Former Romanian tennis player Ilie Nastase will not be invited in to the Wimbledon royal box at this year’s championship following his actions during the recent Fed Cup match between Great Britain and Romania, the All England Club’s chairman Philip Brook has confirmed.
Nastase triggered accusations of racist and sexist behaviour when he made comments about the colour of Serena Williams’ unborn child, and asked British Fed Cup captain Anne Keothavong for her room number repeatedly.
Nastase responded to the accusations by berating British tennis reporters in the media centre in Bucharest, before being ejected from the meet’s second rubber after verbally abusing both Keothavong and British tennis player Johanna Konta, leaving the latter in tears and causing the match to be delayed.
The International Tennis Federation provisionally suspended Nastase from attending any ITF event.
Brook also confirmed that prize money at Wimbledon will be increased to £31.6m, with the singles’ champions taking him a record pot of £2.2m, £200,000 more than Andy Murray and Serena Williams won last year.