During a US Open match, a fan was removed from the venue after German tennis player Alexander Zverev raised concerns about an individual shouting the lyrics of a Nazi-era anthem from the stands.
The incident occurred in the fourth set of Zverev’s round of 16 match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Zverev, seeded 12th, approached chair umpire James Keothavong to report the alleged disturbance.
Zverev informed the umpire, “He just said the most famous Hitler phrase there is in this world. This is unbelievable.” Keothavong consulted with security officials to identify the person responsible. Eventually, a man wearing a blue baseball cap was identified and instructed to leave the arena.
In a post-match press conference, Zverev confirmed that he had heard the fan singing the opening words of Germany’s Nazi-era anthem, “Deutschland Uber Alles.” He expressed his discomfort, stating, “He started singing the anthem of Hitler that was back in the day – Deutschland Uber Alles – it was a bit too much.”
Zverev continued, “He was getting involved in the match for a long time, and 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 him sitting in one of the front rows, a lot of people heard it. If I just don’t react, I think it’s bad from my side.”
Despite the unsettling incident, Zverev managed to maintain his focus and secured a memorable victory. He commented on the situation, saying, “For me, it’s not a very smart guy, the guy who did it. At the end of the day, I said what I said, the umpire said, ‘Okay, we’re going to get him out,’ and that’s what he did. It’s his loss because he didn’t get to watch the final two sets.”
The Arthur Ashe Stadium crowds, particularly during night sessions, are renowned for their enthusiastic support. However, this year’s tournament has seen criticism directed at some fans for their behavior. Former Australian professional Rennae Stubbs expressed her concerns about unruly spectators on social media, mentioning an incident where a drink was thrown during a match and the recent episode involving the fan shouting Nazi slurs.
German player Laura Siegemund had also voiced her displeasure with the Arthur Ashe crowd after her first-round loss to Coco Gauff, highlighting a lack of respect for players and the game of tennis.