A tennis fan was kicked out of a US Open match after allegedly “singing the anthem of Hitler” during a match involving German player Alexander Zverev.
Zverev suddenly stopped the match against Italian Jannik Sinner in the fourth set and went to speak to the umpire, pointing towards the fan.
“He just said the most famous Hitler phrase there is in this world,” Zverev told umpire James Keothavong. “It’s not acceptable.”
Mr Keothavong immediately turned around and asked the man to identify himself, but he did not come forward. He then urged fans at the match in New York to remain fair and show respect to both players.
During the changeover shortly after the number 12 seed was about to win a game, the fan was identified by spectators around him and removed by security.
“He started singing the anthem of Hitler that was back in the day. It was ‘Deutschland Uber Alles’ and it was a bit too much,” Zverev said after the match.
The 26-year-old said he had had derogatory comments aimed at him before, but never involving Hitler.
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Zverev said: “I think he was getting involved in the match for a long time, though. I don’t mind it, 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, and I think him sitting in one of the front rows, I think a lot of people heard it. So if I just don’t react, I think it’s bad from my side.”
US Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said that a “disparaging remark was directed toward Alexander Zverev,” and that the fan was escorted out of the stadium.
After a gruelling four hours and 41 minute match, Zverev defeated sixth seed Sinner to see him through to the quarter-finals.
Zverev will play defending US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday.