Reuters

Crying in face of abuse a cop-out by Jo Konta, says opponent Cirstea

Crying in face of abuse a cop-out by Konta, says opponent

23/04/2017 at 09:00Updated 23/04/2017 at 11:04

Romanian tennis player Sorana Cirstea has accused Jo Konta of playing up her tears after the Briton defeated her amidst abuse from captain Ilie Nastase.

Fresh from losing to Konta, Cirstea accused her opponent of exaggerating the circumstances of Nastase's abuse.

Cirstea claimed she had been called worse in the past and not reacted, suggesting that Konta overreacted.

"I'm not happy," Cirstea said. "Johanna, speaking tennis wise, she was better than me today. My problem was, and I still do not understand, why the match was stopped at 2-1.

"I did not hear what Ilie said, I understand you take Ilie out, perfect. Then we play another game, I win it, and then suddenly you started crying and let's go off the court.

" "Ive played all over the world, they called me from gypsy to bitch to a***hole to idiot. They were doing like (mimes slitting throat) to me. I never cried and left the court, I stay there and I play."

"Afterwards I go to the umpire and I ask him what do I do? I stay on the court, I go out? He said, 'I don't know'. I went to the supervisor, I said, 'What do I do, how long is the break?' He said, 'I don't know'.

"We did not exist anymore, it was only the English team. And then when she (Konta) comes back on court she says, 'I'm sorry', so she knew she exaggerated.

"You don't do this, you stay and play. And the public was okay. They didn't do anything. And now they say they feel threatened.

"We are in Romania, everyone was so nice, we treated you guys so nice. I don't feel it's right that you put all this on us because we're a lower country than England. You were from the beginning expecting to jump.

" Next time I'm in trouble I will cry, maybe I can go off the court. As Romanians we get double insulted because of our nation, but it's okay, we are tough. Tougher than English people apparently.""

Keothavong was particularly strong in her criticism of Nastase, who was already being investigated for asking the British captain for her room number and making an apparently racist comment about Serena Williams' unborn baby at Friday's draw.

Keothavong said: "What he said to both Johanna and myself, it's not something I am going to repeat because it's language that is not appropriate for anyone to speak to any other human in that particular way.

"It's not what we've come here for. We've come here to play a competitive match against Romania in a fair environment and we certainly don't expect verbal abuse."

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