On Tuesday morning, a spectator was kicked out of the US Open tennis match after twelfth seed German player Alexander Zverev heard him sing Hitler’s anthem.

Zverev was in the middle of his fourth match with sixth seed Jannik Sinner when he heard the spectator say the taboo words. He quickly approached the umpire, Keothavong, and pointed in the direction in which he heard someone say it.

“He just said the most famous Hitler phrase there is in this world,” Zverev told Keothavong. “It’s not acceptable.This is unbelievable”

According to Zverev, the spectator was singing “Deutschland über alles”, translating to “Germany above all”, a line that is reminiscent of Hitler’s regime.

“He started singing the Hitler anthem. That was too much,” Zverev said. “As a German, I’m not proud of that part of history and it’s not OK to do that.”

“He was sitting in the front row, so a lot of people heard it. If I didn’t react, it would have been bad from my part,” he said.

Keothavong then asked the spectator to identify himself, and then proceeded to ask the others to be respectful towards the players.

“Who was this smart guy who said that? Put your hand up. Who said that? Who said that? We’re going to get him out.”, Keothavong said.

 After finally being singled out by the crowd, two security personnel went over to the spectator to escort him out. 

“A disparaging remark was directed toward Alexander Zverev,” U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said, “The fan was identified and escorted from the stadium.”

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Alexander Zverev hearing a spectator singing Hitler’s anthem 

A video of the incident was quickly posted on Twitter, where two security personnel walked up to him and asked him to leave. He stood up, and people around him were quick to take out their phones and capture the moment. As he was climbing up the stairs to head to the exit, the crowd started to applaud his removal, with some even shouting the word “boo!”.

“He started singing the anthem of Hitler that was back in the day. It was ‘Deutschland über alles’ and it was a bit too much,” 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.”

After the spectator’s exit, Zverev quickly moved on and got his head back in the game. And despite struggling in the fourth set, he got back to his feet and won the fifth set. This resulted in his victory against Sinner. The twelfth seed victor also commented that it was the spectators loss as he wasn’t able to see him win the match:

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“It’s his loss, to be honest, to not witness the final two sets of that match,” Zverev said.

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