Tennis spectators were humiliated again Tuesday during Alexander Zverev’s late-night match. U.S. Open The round of 16 against Jannik Sinner was marred by racist insults against the German No. 12 seed.
Zverev and Sinner found themselves embroiled in a thrilling fourth-round tie early in the morning in New York, when the former complained to the referee about a comment he heard seconds before a point.
“He has just uttered the most famous Hitler phrase ever. This is unacceptable,” Hamburg-born Zverev told British referee James Keothavong after hearing an insult from the crowd.
After the match, Zverev told a reporter that the alleged fan had sung “Hitler’s anthem” – the banned first verse of the original German national anthem.
“He started singing the Hitler anthem that was at the time. It was ‘Deutschland über alles’ and it was a bit too much,” said the Hamburg native.
Tennis crowds were humiliated on Tuesday when Alexander Zverev’s US Open round of 16 match against Jannik Sinner was marred by a racist slur against the German No. 12 seed.
The spectator was escorted by security after blocking the German player in New York.
While unacceptable insults towards stars are rare, the Zverev incident is the latest example of a tennis crowd becoming more involved than ever in player issues, with increasingly rowdy behavior causing problems.
Last week, Daniil Medvedev continued his spirited relationship with the US Open by thanking fans who reserved their cheers for breaks in play while mocking a crowd member who was particularly vocal during his third-round victory over Sebastian Baez.
“Thank you very much to all the guys who don’t shout between the first and second serves,” he said after the match. “You guys are awesome.
“But I think there is a guy, I don’t know if he has a girlfriend or a wife. But I don’t know how she will sleep because he is so excited that at night he will say ” VAMO! VAMO! VAMO! VAMO!” Like all the time. I feel sorry for him.’
The exchange followed another incident involving the 27-year-old and fans at Flushing Meadows after the No. 3 seed clashed with some spectators during his victory over Christopher O’Connell in the previous round.
Daniil Medvedev was furious with a group of fans at the US Open, accusing them of being “stupid”.
A fan (left) tried to appease the angry Russian by blowing him a kiss from her seat.
The 2019 champion has had several clashes with fans over the years at Flushing Meadows
An irritable Medvedev appeared to have been irritated by a few fans who headed for their seats as he lined up a serve and shouted: “Can you shut up?” Are you stupid or something?’
One of the female fans blew Medvedev a kiss in response as her fury provoked boos at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
These clashes are becoming more and more frequent and affect tennis stars around the world.
One of the most bizarre incidents happened last month when a spectator was forced to apologize to Stefanos Tsitsipas after the Greek star confronted her for imitating a bee during her match at the Masters of Cincinnati.
The world number four was about to serve when he heard an irritating buzzing sound near him.
He then comically attempted to squash what he thought was a bee, before deciding to serve again.
Tsitsipas conducted his own investigation and took his complaints to the referee, before heading towards the spectator who then apologized profusely for his actions.
One of the most bizarre incidents occurred last month when a spectator was forced to apologize to Stefanos Tsitsipas after imitating a bee during his match at the Cincinnati Masters.
The lady responsible for the noise was confronted by an angry and frustrated Tsitsipas.
Elsewhere, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has caused much controversy among tennis spectators, with several high-profile players from both countries, as well as those from Belarus – who support Russia in the conflict – being booed and insulted over the past year.
For example, the now non-standard handshake between Russian or Belarusian and Ukrainian players regularly provokes reactions among supporters.
Ukrainian star Marta Kostyuk was booed when she refused to shake hands with Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka at Roland Garros, while Russian Daria Kasatkina was booed off the court in Paris when she avoided her handshake with the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.
Wimbledon spectators are known for their good behavior, but they couldn’t avoid controversy this year when Belarusian Victoria Azarenka was booed by the crowd after losing to Svitolina despite the aforementioned handshake not having occurred.
Azarenka then lashed out at those in the stands at Court One, while Svitolina called on tennis authorities to act to deal with the increasingly ugly scenarios following matches.
The Belarusian said: “What should I have done? Did you stay and wait? She does not want to shake hands with Russians and Belarusians. I respected his decision.
Svitolina – who was booed after not shaking Sabalenka’s hand following a quarter-final defeat at Roland Garros the previous month – added: “I feel like every player who loses, and he no handshake, gets booed.
“I think tennis organizations need to declare that there will be no handshakes between Russian/Belarusian and Ukrainian players.
The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has caused significant controversy in tennis with stars from both nations and Belarus often booed if they do not shake hands with their opponent (photo: Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (top) waits at the net after having beaten the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.)
Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk booed after not shaking Sabalenka’s hand at Roland Garros
“I don’t know if maybe it’s not clear to people. I have already said several times that until Russian troops leave Ukraine and we regain our territories, I will not shake hands.
“I (made a) clear statement. I don’t know how I can be clearer.
Wimbledon has not been shy about avoiding louder spectators over the years with Nick Kyrgios’ infamous rant towards a supposedly ‘drunk’ individual one of the stories from the 2022 Wimbledon final.
During his tense battle with Djokovic in a clash he ultimately lost in four sets, Kyrgios accused a drunken fan of interrupting him during a crucial service game.
“She distracts me when I serve in a Wimbledon final,” he fumed at referee Renauld Lichtenstein.
“There is no other greater opportunity, you didn’t believe me and then she did it again. It almost cost me the game.
‘Why is she still here? She’s completely drunk and talking to me in the middle of a match. What is acceptable?
When Lichtenstein said “nothing is acceptable”, Kyrgios replied: “OK, expel her.” I know exactly which one it is – the one that looks like she’s had 700 drinks, bro.
Nick Kyrgios went on an infamous rant during the 2022 Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic when he accused a fan who was distracting him of having “about 700 drinks”.
The fan was Ania Palus (above) and she filed a lawsuit against Kyrgios for defamation.
The woman Kyrgios lashed out against was later revealed to be 32-year-old Ania Palus. She said she only had one Pimms and a glass of rose during the match, adding that the heat got to her before she was temporarily ejected from center court.
Palus ended up taking legal action against the Australian for defamation.
Ultimately, over the past 12 months, the usually respectful tennis public has become increasingly vocal and engaged with players on various issues.
Whether it is extremely serious topics such as the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, or other more trivial issues including distraction tactics, drunken fans and abusive behavior, crowd disturbances in tennis are increasing and perhaps this is an issue that sports authorities should address sooner rather than later. than later.