Romania beat Great Britain as Nastase defies accreditation ban

 

By Ros Satar

  • Simona Halep def. Johanna Konta 6-1 6-3
  • Irina-Camelia Begu def. Heather Watson 6-4 7-5
  • Romania beat Great Britain 3-1 but Ilie Nastase was still making headlines
CONSTANTA, ROMANIA – Despite posturing by the ITF to strip Ilie Nastase of his accreditation, and issuing him with a provisional suspension that appears to cover all ITF Events, he defied his ban as Romania secured their place in Fed Cup World Group II.

 

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Simona Halep def. Johanna Konta 6-1 6-3

The morning broke with Simona Halep on fire, as she roared past Johanna Konta to put the hosts ahead once more in the Fed Cup World Group II Play-off. After the drama of the day before, and the resulting chaos and even continuing recriminations from the defeated Sorana Cirstea, it was perhaps understandable if Konta came out a little flat.

She had been reduced to tears by the verbal abuse levelled at her and GB coach Anne Keothavong, and play was suspended to calm the situation down, although Nastase continued to wreak havoc, also abusing British Press Association Reporter Eleanor Crooks.

As reported by BBC Sport, Konta struck back at Cirstea’s claims that she had over-reacted to the abuse by both Nastase and some elements of the crowd:

“With all due respect to Sorana, she was not in my shoes at that end of the court being verbally threatened,” she told the BBC. “Any abuse is not all right. But when it’s a couple of metres away from you, screaming at you, I think that’s a different ball game.

“It’s not something that you truly know how it affects you until you experience it, so I do believe she may have been slightly unaware of the events that happened.”

 

Irina-Camelia Begu def. Heather Watson 6-4 7-5

It was left to Heather Watson to try and salvage the tie for Great Britain, and after emerging as the heroine from the Group Stage exploits, she put up a brave fight, giving the crowd the kind of match that Fed Cup and Davis Cup are known for.

The gave switched momentum more times than a pendulum clock on speed, but perhaps Watson’s loss of form told as Irina-Camelia Begu (who has had a few unhappy Fed Cup memories of her own) just managed to play the big points better in a quality match.

 

ITF issues Ilie Nastase provisional suspension, as he re-appears at tie

At the end of yesterday, the ITF had provided a statement to say that had acted in stripping Ilie Nastase of his accreditation and stating he would play no further part in the tie. Yet in a country where he remains revered, he strolled into the VIP lounge, spotted bu the BBC Tennis correspondant Russell Fuller

This must leave the ITF more red-faced having just released another statement, stating that he would never be allowed at any Fed Cup event, and implying that his suspension would cover all ITF events, which would cover Davis Cup and Grand Slams.


Common sense seemed to be belatedly supplied:


However, the ITF must be seen to do more than issue statements that appear to be ignored.

Konta will head to Stuttgart, where she is the No. 6 seed.

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