Madrid Open organisers slammed for inviting controversial Ilie Nastase
Ilie Nastase (left) with Madrid Open singles winner Simona Halep on Saturday. Pic/AFP
The organisers of the Madrid Open have been criticised for inviting Ilie Nastase to Saturday's award ceremony.
Following Simona Halep's final win over Kristina Mladenovic, her fellow Romanian and Fed Cup captain Nastase appeared on court in Madrid with the world number eight.
Nastase is currently serving a provisional suspension by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) as a result of his behaviour during April's Fed Cup tie against Great Britain.
French Open last week followed their Wimbledon counterparts in barring Nastase from a grand slam in 2017 and the WTA had revoked his credential privileges while the ITF investigated his actions, with chief executive Steve Simon said in a statement.
"It was an exciting final match and I congratulate Simona and Kristina for their outstanding display of tennis.
"The only shadow cast on the day was Nastase's invitation for the award ceremony. He had no place on court. It was irresponsible and unacceptable of the Madrid Open to bestow him an official role.
Madrid Open is a premier event and held to the highest standards of professional tennis and leadership which were not reflected today," the statement saidd.