A senior official in men's tennis has been forced to issue a grovelling apology after an extraordinary sexist rant about women players.
Justin Gimelstob, a director of the Association of Tennis Professionals, described France's Tatiana Golovin and Alize Cornet as 'sexpots'.
And he said 19-year-old Czech Nicole Vaidisova, who yesterday won through to the fourth round at Wimbledon, was 'well-developed'.
Gimelstob, 31, who retired from the professional tennis circuit last year, let rip on a Washington-based morning radio show, The Junkies. In an hourlong interview, he saved his real vitriol for the semi-retired Russian Anna Kournikova, announcing: 'She's a bitch'.
Asked if he 'hated' the 27-year-old, with whom he trained as a junior, he replied: 'Hate's a very strong word. I just despise her to the maximum level just below hate.'
Gimelstob, from New Jersey, became known during his career as the 'most quotable guy on the ATP tour' following comments such as 'I'm only seven matches away from my first Grand Slam' after reaching the U.S. Open first round via a wild card in 1995.
His best-ever world ranking was 63, but he won the 1998 Australian Open and French Open mixed doubles titles with Venus Williams as his partner.
He now plays for Washington Kastles in the WorldTeamTennis professional league.
Gimelstob, who is 6ft 5in and is due to play Miss Kournikova in mixed doubles next month, went on to say that when serving he wanted to hit her hard with the ball in the midriff.
'If she's not crying by the time she walks off the court then I did not do my job.'
Asked if he would ever have an affair with the player-turned-model, he went on: 'Definitely not. I have no attraction to her because she's such a douche. I really have no interest in her ... I wouldn't mind having my younger brother, who's a kind of a stud, nail her and then reap the benefits of that. She has a great body but her face is a five (out of ten).'
Gimelstob was more complimentary about Miss Vaidisova, who is ranked 22 in the world.
'She's a well-developed young lady', he said, going on to describe Miss Golovin and Miss Cornet as 'sexpots'.
He also declared: 'Female tennis players lack the social skills - they don't go to high school, they don't go to parties.'
He claimed there were fewer lesbians on the current women's tour than 15 years ago, explaining: 'That's because they're all Russian chicks. And there's some other cute ones out there. There's some talent out there.'
As punishment for his comments, the World TeamTennis Pro League announced it was suspending Gimelstob for one match without pay for a violation of its Player Code of Conduct.
He said: 'There is no excuse and I am extremely disappointed in myself. I take full responsibility for all the words that came out of my mouth, and, while I can't take any of them back, I hope my heartfelt remorse can begin to heal the wounds felt by many.
'Among the targets of my venom was Anna Kournikova, not to mention a general disregard and disrespect toward women.
'They all deserve and have my deepest apologies. While I see how it could be implied by my remarks, I assure you that I have the utmost respect for women.
'As a small symbol of my contrition I will be making a donation to The Women's Sports Foundation, which works to expand opportunities for girls and women through sports and physical activity.'
An ATP spokesman added: 'The ATP cannot condone any form of intolerance and Justin Gimelstob's comments were unacceptable.
'However, he has done the right thing in taking full responsibility for his comments by apologising publicly to Anna for what he has rightly described as his disappointing and disrespectful comments.'
Following her third-round win yesterday, Miss Vaidisova said: 'I know Justin. He's a very nice guy. I heard he apologised for it.
'I think it's just you say something and you don't really mean it. It happens. I know his sense of humour a little bit. I know he kind of talks like that a little bit, so I can cut him some slack.'
SOURCE - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...nikova-Co.html