Boris Becker has insisted Ilie Nastase is not a racist but feels he should apologise personally to Serena Williams for controversial remarks about her unborn child.
Romanian Fed Cup captain Nastase allegedly made racially insensitive comments relating to Williams' pregnancy at a media conference ahead of his side's tie with Great Britain last month, days after the 23-time grand slam singles champion revealed she is expecting her first child with fiance Alexis Ohanian.
Nastase is reported to have said of Williams' unborn baby: "Let's see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?"
He was then ejected from the Fed Cup play-off clash in Constanta after being given a second official warning for comments he made after Sorana Cirstea took a 2-1 lead in the second set of her rubber against Johanna Konta.
Nastase was escorted from the arena and aimed a tirade at members of the media on his way out, the 70-year-old accused of verbally abusing Konta - who was left in tears - and GB captain Anne Keothavong.
The ITF has since provisionally suspended Nastase, who has also been banned from the royal box at Wimbledon, despite him apologising for his "spontaneous" comments.
Becker, a six-time grand slam champion and former coach of Novak Djokovic, has defended Nastase, posting on Twitter: "Word about Ilie Nastase: I know him since 1984, played singles against him and on many occasions doubles, spent many dinners together!
"Ilie is NOT a racist!!! He makes jokes about everybody (unfortunately not very funny sometimes) and should apologise in person to Serena W and Jo K!
"He should be fined by the ITF/WTA and monies should go to their charities but shouldn't be banned by the tennis community!
"Ilie is part of our tennis history and responsible with so many other legends in the game, that today's players can make [a] proper living..."