Madrid Open organizer and former tennis player Ion Tiriac says the WTA should apologize to friend Ilie Nastase for criticizing his presence at the tournament’s trophy ceremony.
In an open letter to WTA CEO Steve Simon, Tiriac said Simon should apologize for calling Nastase’s presence “irresponsible and unacceptable.”
Romanian player Simona Halep won the title Saturday. Nastase was photographed next to her.
The 70-year-old Nastase has been provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation following his comments about Serena Williams’ unborn baby and for foul-mouthed outbursts during a Fed Cup match between Romania and Britain in April.
Tiriac says Nastase “has a clean and flamboyant personality,” and has dedicated himself to tennis for 50 years.