Play between the UK’s Jo Konta and Romania’s Sorana Cirstea was suspended for about 25 minutes with Konta having to leave the court in tears. Romania’s team captain Ilie Nastase was reported to have hurled verbal abuse at Konta and Anne Keothavong the British captain. Nastase already caused controversy by making a derogatory comment about Serena Williams’ unborn child before the Fed Cup tie started.
The Romanian former world number one shot into the spotlight at the start of the weekend by making some racist remarks regarding Serena Williams’ pregnancy announcement earlier in the week.
Remarkably, rather than retract his statement, Nastase went on a ridiculous rant at the female British journalist, Eleanor Crooks, who published his comments, calling her ‘stupid’.
And the Romanian Fed Cup captain landed himself in further hot water on the opening day of his nation’s tie against Great Britain.
Johanna Konta was up against Sorana Cirstea in the first match and took the opening set 6-2.
However, midway through the second set and with Cirstea leading 3-1, a quite incredible altercation ensued.
Suddenly, the match was stopped the British number one broke down in tears and the tie was suspended as she left the court.
Not before Nastase was sent to the stands and launched a vicious tirade of abuse towards the referee and Konta, though.
Journalist Simon Briggs provided a brilliant commentary of what was happening via Twitter and revealed Nastase called the referee a f***ing a***ole as well as insulting Konta and Brit Fed Cup captain Anne Keothavong.
You can see the unbelievable exchange and Nastase being ejected from the court in the videos below.
Before the match was halted Konta also received some abuse from a hostile Romanian crowd in attendance and world number five Simona Halep was seen trying to calm some of the fans down during the break in play.
Possibly the most surprising aspect of the whole situation is that Romania were not made to default the tie and play later resumed.
Amazingly, Konta returned to put in a stunning performance by winning the next five games to seal the victory.