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Fan Ejected from US Open Match After Shouting Former German National Anthem Phrase Associated with Hitler

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  The 2023 US Open witnessed an unsettling incident during Alexander Zverev’s fourth-round match against Jannik Sinner. A fan was ejected from the stadium after German player Alexander Zverev expressed discomfort over the individual’s use of a phrase from the German national anthem.

A Disconcerting Interruption

The incident occurred during the fourth set of the match in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Alexander Zverev, visibly perturbed, approached umpire James Keothavong to protest the fan’s behavior. Zverev’s on-court statement was unequivocal: “He just said the most famous Hitler phrase there is in this world, it’s unacceptable. This is unbelievable.”

A Troubling Phrase

The phrase in question, “Deutschland über alles,” originally penned in the 1800s, was initially intended as a call for unity in Germany. However, it later assumed a darker meaning as the Nazis twisted it into a rallying cry for their perceived superiority. In the aftermath of World War II, this verse was removed from the German national anthem. Zverev, who heard the fan uttering these words, expressed his dismay at the inappropriate invocation of this historical phrase.

A Swift Response

Umpire James Keothavong took immediate action when he became aware of the situation. He turned towards the fans seated behind him, requesting the offending spectator to identify themselves. Broadcast footage captured the fan being escorted out of the stadium by security.

USTA’s Statement

The US Tennis Association (USTA) responded promptly, “A disparaging remark was directed towards Zverev. The fan was identified and escorted from the stadium.” The swift reaction from the USTA underscores their commitment to maintaining a respectful and inclusive atmosphere at sporting events.

Zverev’s Perspective

Alexander Zverev, who ultimately prevailed against Jannik Sinner with a scoreline of 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, spoke out about the incident. He expressed his appreciation for passionate and vocal fans but emphasized the inappropriateness of invoking such historical phrases. Zverev, being German, was particularly sensitive to the dark history associated with Nazi Germany and felt compelled to address the situation: “I love when fans are loud, I love when fans are emotional, but I think me being German and not really proud of that history, it’s not really a great thing to do.”

A Marathon Victory

The incident didn’t deter Zverev’s determination on the court, as he went on to secure a hard-fought victory against Sinner. The match lasted a grueling four hours and 41 minutes, making it the longest match of the tournament up to that point. Zverev’s impressive performance demonstrated his resilience and skill.

Looking Ahead

As Alexander Zverev continues his comeback from a serious ankle injury sustained during the previous year’s French Open, he advances to the US Open quarterfinals. In the next round, he is set to face defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, promising an exciting clash in the tournament.

Conclusion

The incident at the 2023 US Open serves as a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining respect and decorum in the world of sports. While passionate fan support is welcomed, there are boundaries that should not be crossed. Alexander Zverev’s response reflects a commitment to both the sport and the need to address historical sensitivities.

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FAQs

  1. Why is “Deutschland über alles” associated with Hitler? The phrase “Deutschland über alles” was originally a call for unity in Germany but was co-opted by the Nazis to symbolize their belief in their superiority during World War II.
  2. What action did the USTA take against the fan who used the phrase? The USTA promptly identified and escorted the fan from the stadium, ensuring that the incident did not disrupt the match further.
  3. How did Alexander Zverev respond to the situation? Zverev expressed his discomfort with the fan’s use of the historical phrase, emphasizing the inappropriateness of invoking such a dark chapter in history.
  4. Who did Zverev face in the fourth round of the US Open? Zverev’s fourth-round opponent was Jannik Sinner, with Zverev eventually securing a hard-fought victory.
  5. What’s next for Alexander Zverev in the US Open? Zverev advances to the US Open quarterfinals, where he will face defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, promising an exciting match ahead.
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