A moment of embarrassment occurred when an outdated version of the German national anthem that later became associated with the Nazi regime was performed before a Fed Cup match in Hawaii.
The United States Tennis Association has apologized after an outdated version of the German national anthem that later became associated with the Nazi regime was performed before a Fed Cup match in Hawaii.
The anthem was sung Saturday before a Fed Cup quarterfinal between American Alison Riske and Germany’s Andrea Petkovic. It contained a verse that translates to, “Germany, Germany, above all, above all in the world,” which became identified with Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.
The USTA issued a statement apologizing, saying: “The USTA extends its sincerest apologies to the German Fed Cup team and all of its fans for the performance of an outdated national anthem prior to today’s Fed Cup competition,” the statement said. “In no way did we mean any disrespect. This mistake will not occur again, and the correct anthem will be performed for the remainder of this first-round tie.”
Riske beat Petkovic 7-6 (10).
Petkovic, who was born in Bosnia, told reporters after her match that she considered walking off the court as the anthem was sung.
“I thought it was the epitome of ignorance, and I’ve never felt more disrespected in my whole life, let alone in Fed Cup, and I’ve played Fed Cup for 13 years now and it is the worst thing that has ever happened to me,” Petkovic said after her loss.
She wrote Sunday on Twitter: “It was a mistake for which the Americans apologized to us. And again, it’s not the worst that ever happened to me in my LIFE. But it is the worst that happened to me in my Fed Cup life.”
Riske was also apologetic in her news conference.
“As it was happening, obviously, we have no idea,” Riske said. “But news got around to us and it’s extremely unfortunate. We have nothing but respect for the German team and obviously that will not happen again.”