Serena Williams hits out at Ilie Nastase accusing him of making 'racist' comments after weekend of controversy

Serena Williams has hit out at Romanian tennis captain Ilie Nastase. Credit: PA

Tennis star Serena Williams has hit back at Romanian captain Ilie Nastase, accusing him of racially abusing her and her unborn baby and hurling sexist abuse at her fellow female competitors.

The American has responded publicly for the first time to the controversy which has erupted over the Romania Fed Cup team captain's astonishing behaviour at his side's match with Great Britain last weekend.

Nastase was overheard at Friday's press conference saying about Williams' unborn baby, "Let's see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?''

When play got underway between Johanna Konta and Romania's Sorana Cîrstea, the Brit was left in floods of tears after Nastase reportedly asked an umpire: "What's your f***ing problem?" and called Konta and Great Britain's captain Anne Keothavong and Konta "f***ing b****es".

Play was briefly suspended before Konta went on to win the match 6-2 6-3.

British number one Johanna Konta. Credit: PA

During the tournament the 70-year-old also asked Keothavong for her room number.

The former world number one's behaviour has led to his provisional suspension by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

On Monday Serena Williams posted to her 5.6 million Instagram followers a message in which she said it "disappointed" her that "we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and my unborn child, and sexist comments against my peers".

Last week the world number one confirmed she was 20-weeks pregnant.

A spokesperson for the The tennis star's spokeswoman said Serena "definitely" would not be able to play again this year but "looks forward to returning in 2018".

British captain Anne Keothavong. Credit: PA

Nastase has remained unrepentant about his conduct, despite the All England Club threatening a Royal Box ban and fellow Romanian sports hero Nadia Comaneci branding his comments ''ugly''.

Romanian website ProSport quoted the 70-year-old on Monday evening responding to a question from a local journalist about whether he contacted any British team members in the aftermath of his outburst.

It quoted Nastase answering: ''No, I did not try (to contact them). Well, what do I do with them? One (Keothavong) is pregnant with her second child and the other (Konta) is busy. I have nothing to do with them.''

The All England Club is now set to block the two-time finalist's customary invitation to the Royal Box, saying in a statement that a "range of factors" would be taken into account, "including any suspensions".