US Tennis Association apologizes for Nazi-era German anthem at match

Alison Riske

The USTA apologized in a statement after Petkovic's original comments.

Before Germany's Andrea Petkovic and Alison Riske of the USA took the court in Hawaii, a singer inadvertently performed a long-banned Nazi-era version of the country's national anthem.

When German tennis player Andrea Petkovic realized what she was hearing, she considered walking off the court.

The United States is facing Germany in quarterfinal play and now holds a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

The long-ago-excised verse that was included in the anthem performance translates to "Germany, Germany, above all, above all in the world", a line that Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime embraced in the 1930s and '40s. The singing of the verse brought a stern response from Petkovic and an official statement of apology from the United States Tennis Association. "It was by some way the worst thing that's happened to me, especially in the Fed Cup".

She clarified her comments a day later, writing on Twitter that she was still emotional about her match when she was asked about the anthem directly afterward.

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"I have never felt so disrespected in my life", Petkovic said on Saturday. A local opera singer sang the German anthem using an outdated verse widely synonymous with the Nazi era: "Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles, uber alles in der Welt".

The USTA extended "a honest apology to the German Fed Cup team and fans for the outdated National Anthem".

Riske said speaking post-match: "As it was happening, obviously, we have no idea".

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The tournament is the female equivalent to the Davis Cup, and is the largest worldwide competitions in women's tennis having been established in 1963. The Czech Republic is the three-time defending champions.

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