Professional tennis player Michael Russell resorted to the favored tactic of athletes and celebrities with derogatory comments posted on their Facebook pages, blaming his publicist for a scathing post on the social network that ripped fellow pro Lleyton Hewitt, reported.

After Hewitt lost Sunday in the final of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I. — which was played on the same day as the semifinals due to rain — the following post (since deleted) appeared on Russell’s Facebook page, as reported by (unedited):

Lleyton Hewitt – what a douche bag and a racist by the way too. From ATP website: ‘It’s disappointing,’ said Hewitt. ‘If I could’ve had a day off and come back and played the final, I reckon things would’ve been different. All in all it was a good week. Can’t do much about it. I had the tougher side of the draw, with the semi-finals this morning, I paid the price for that.’ Really, so serving at 7-5, 5-4 for the Championship all of a sudden you got tired. How about you just choked and stopped making excuses. I would have loved to see Mahut/Hewitt on the side court 1 at Newport and see how many excuses Lleyton would have made then.

Russell replied in a series of tweets, as reported by (unedited):

To be 100% clear about recent statements on my Facebook page regarding Lleyton Hewitt, unfortunately, my publicist posted those statements without my knowledge or approval. However, I realize it is my responsibility to monitor each and every statement before being posted on my Facebook page, and I hope Lleyton, my fans, and the tennis community will accept my apologies for any misunderstandings caused by my failure to do so. From here on out, I will monitor my page very carefully, making sure all statements made on it are mine. –Best, Michael

I have personally apologized to Lleyton for the comments made on (Facebook). Anybody who knows me knows I would never say these harsh words. I have the utmost respect for Lleyton as a player, person, husband and father.

Readers: What do you think happened here?

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