Johanna Konta: I will take time to recover from Fed Cup abuse

Johanna Konta admits she was affected by the abuse she had received on Saturday. Picture: Getty.

Johanna Konta admits she was affected by the abuse she had received on Saturday. Picture: Getty.

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Johanna Konta admitted the abuse she received at the Fed Cup tie in Romania will take time to get over as Great 
Britain slipped to defeat.

Konta gave full credit to Simona Halep, whose 6-1, 6-3 victory over the British No 1 set the stage for a day of home celebration at Tenis Club IDU in Constanta.

That left the visitors needing to win both the remaining rubbers but Romania completed the job in the next match when Irina-Camelia Begu defeated Heather Watson 6-4, 7-5.

Konta had been left shaken after being verbally abused first by Romanian captain Ilie Nastase and then the crowd during her clash with Sorana Cirstea on Saturday.

Nastase was banned from the premises for the rest of the tie and a charged atmosphere was expected when Konta faced Halep, playing in her home city for the first time since her junior days.

After winning the first three points, Konta lost ten in a row and, aside from a spell early in the second set, was unable to sustain any momentum.

The British No 1 said: “I think it’s really important for me to separate what happened yesterday and the tennis match today. Simona played well and came out and played a lot freer than I was expecting.

“There’s obviously an effect that yesterday had on me. However, it has to be about the tennis and I gave my best today with what I had. I think it’ll be something I’ll do my best to overcome and to just understand. It’s not something I’ve ever experienced before and I hope never to experience it again.

“I felt the crowd today were a lot fairer and I felt they 
supported Simona well.”

Nastase was yesterday given a provisional suspension from the Fed Cup by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) – but that did not stop him brazenly walking back into Tenis Club IDU in 
Constanta.

His accreditation had already been removed but, shortly after the home side had wrapped up victory in the tie, Nastase walked in through the main doors and along a corridor to the VIP lounge.

The ITF later confirmed Nastase was not allowed to be on site in any capacity and the Romanian Tennis Federation president subsequently said he had left.

An ITF statement read: “The ITF’s Internal Adjudication Panel has issued Ilie Nastase with a provisional suspension under the Fed Cup regulations for a breach of the Fed Cup welfare policy at the tie in 
Constanta.

“Nastase [right] may not participate in the Fed Cup in any capacity with immediate effect and shall be denied access to, and accreditation for, any ITF event including Fed Cup.

“The investigation by the Internal Adjudication Panel is ongoing.”

Nastase was already under investigation by the ITF after making an apparently racist comment about Serena 
Williams’ unborn baby at Friday’s press conference and asking British captain Anne Keothavong for her room number.

The defeat extends Britain’s wait to return to Fed Cup World Group level into a 25th year, and they desperately need Konta to stick with the competition.

The 25-year-old stopped short of committing herself, saying: “I think that’s something time will tell.

“I really enjoy representing my country and think the principles of what Fed Cup is about and the team environment is a great thing to be a part of. It’s unfortunate that the events of yesterday overshadowed this competition and especially our tie. Time will tell but hopefully I’ll still be involved.”

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