Tennis player Alexander Zverev stops play to demand fan is removed from the US Open arena over Adolf Hitler slur

5 September 2023, 12:52

Alexander Zverev stopped play after he heard the slur
Alexander Zverev stopped play after he heard the slur. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Tennis player Alexander Zverev stopped play to demand that a fan be removed after hearing an Adolf Hitler slur.

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Alexander Zverev and Jannik Sinner were embroiled in a fourth round tie in New York on Monday night when the game was paused due to a racial slur shouted from the crowd.

Zverev - the German No.12 seed - stopped play just seconds before a point and approached the umpire.

He said: "He just said the most famous Hitler phrase there is. It is unacceptable."

British umpire James Keothavong went on to turn in his chair to directly address the audience, asking the culprit to identify themselves.

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When nobody spoke up, Keothavong made an announcement to the whole crowd to respect both players.

Security were then seen being dispatched in the area to try and find the person responsible while play continued.

A short while later, cameras cut back to the stands to show a middle-aged man being spoken and led away.

Speaking about the incident after the game, Zverev said: "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."

He added: "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."

It comes after Daniil Medvedev also complained about spectators during this year's US Open.

"Thanks to all those who didn't yell between my first and second serve," he said after his win against Sebastian Baez.

"However, there was a spectator, maybe he has a girlfriend or a wife who I don't know how she will sleep… He was particularly excited and will spend the night saying 'vamos, vamos, vamos' without ever stopping. I'm sorry for him.'

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