Serena Williams. Picture: EPA/MAST IRHAM
Serena Williams. Picture: EPA/MAST IRHAM
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Serena Williams on Monday called the alleged comments about her unborn child by former world No 1 Ilie Nastase "racist" and applauded the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for launching a probe into the remarks.

Nastase, who won his two Grand Slam titles in the 1970s, was quoted by Romanian and some British media as saying in response to William’s pregnancy announcement: "Let’s see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?"

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"It disappoints me to know we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and unborn child, and sexist comments against my peers," Williams wrote on her Instagram account.

"I am not afraid unlike you. You see, I am no coward."

Nastase has been provisionally banned from all ITF events after his verbal abuse of British players in his role as Romanian Fed Cup captain.

British captain Anne Keothavong, who said she was made to feel "uncomfortable" by comments made by Nastase at the official prematch dinner, said the subsequent abuse during play had been unacceptable.

"We don’t expect abusive language to be used…. What he said directed to both Johanna [Konta] and myself is … language that is not appropriate for anyone to speak to any other human," she said.

Reuters

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