SPORTS

For his 70th, Ilie Nastase awarded by Romania president

FILE - In this Monday, May 23, 2016 file picture, former Romanian tennis ace Ilie Nastase watches a match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France. Ilie Nastase has received Romania's highest award, the Star of Romania, on his 70th birthday from President Klaus Iohannis for services to sport in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

FILE - In this Monday, May 23, 2016 file picture, former Romanian tennis ace Ilie Nastase watches a match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France. Ilie Nastase has received Romania's highest award, the Star of Romania, on his 70th birthday from President Klaus Iohannis for services to sport in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)  (The Associated Press)

Ilie Nastase has received an award on his 70th birthday from Romania President Klaus Iohannis for services to sport.

Iohannis told Nastase, who received the Star of Romania on Tuesday, "You offered more than just a performance; you were a phenomenon of human nature on the tennis court.

"You became one of the most important tennis players in the world, and offered a total spectacle," he added, alluding to the antics on court that earned Nastase the nickname "Nasty."

Nastase was known for his brilliant shots, and playing up to the crowd in the 1970s and '80s, when he won 103 singles and doubles titles.

Nastase, who still sports long hair, called the honor the best day of his life.