Serena Williams has issued a strongly-worded Instagram post about suspended Romanian Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase, as the former ATP World No.1 came under fire for repeated abusive conduct over the weekend.
In Monday's post, Williams - who recently announced she was pregnant - criticized Nastase for comments made about the ethnicity of her unborn child during a press conference on Friday.
She also referenced the abuse levelled by Nastase towards Great Britain's Johanna Konta and Anne Keothavong during their Fed Cup World Group II Play-off tie with Romania in Constanta at the weekend.
"It disappoints me to know 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 towards my peers," Williams wrote on Instagram. "I will continue to take a lead and stand up for what's right."
Nastase was removed from the court during Saturday's match between Konta and Sorana Cirstea following abusive conduct towards the British player, her captain Keothavong and match officials.
He had previously been overheard making a remark which referred to the race of Williams' unborn child during Friday's draw ceremony. Williams is black and her partner Alexis Ohanian is white.
In the post, Williams quotes "Still I Rise," a poem by the late Maya Angelou, which has held special signifcance in the World No.1's quest for history over the past year.
"Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom?...You may shoot me with your words...you may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise," Williams quoted in the post.
"I humbly thank the ITF for any consideration given to all the facts in this case," Williams concluded. "They will have my full support."
Nastase was provisionally suspended by the ITF from Fed Cup and ITF-sanctioned events on Sunday as the investigation continues.