Wimbledon 2017: Ilie Nastase will not be invited to Royal Box this year

Ilie Nastase will not be invited to the Royal Box at Wimbledon this summer, tournament organisers have said.

Romania’s Fed Cup captain, a former world number one, is currently under investigation over comments he made about Serena Williams’ unborn child.

Williams accused Nastase of racism after he was overheard asking if the child would be “chocolate with milk”.

He also insulted British player Johanna Konta and captain Anne Keothavong, and called a journalist “stupid”.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Wimbledon also announced record prize money of £31.6m for this year’s event, an increase of 12.5% on 2016.

The men’s and women’s singles champions will earn £2.2m each, with an increase to benefit players at each round of the draw. First-round singles losers will earn £35,000.

Overall prize money for the last year’s edition was £28.1m, with the singles champions earning £2m.

This year’s event gets under way on 3 July, the latest start since the 1895 edition, when play began on 8 July.

All England Club chairman Philip Brook confirmed 70-year-old Nastase, who reached the Wimbledon final in 1972 and 1976, would not be present.

“His actions were not very good and we condemn them. In terms of an invitation to the Royal Box, he is not going to receive an invitation this year,” Brook said.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has launched an investigation into remarks Nastase made during April’s Fed Cup match, when he also directed an angry outburst towards Konta that left the British number one in tears.

In an interview with the BBC later in April, the Romanian defended his remarks about world number one Williams.

“English people considered it was racist and everybody picked it up like that,” he said.

“The only person who can get upset maybe is Serena, but not you people in England. Why does everybody else get upset? I don’t understand. Whatever.”

source: www.bbc.co.uk