A fan was ejected from the US Open for allegedly yelling out the “most famous Hitler phrase there is” during Alexander Zverev’s Round of 16 match with Jannik Sinner on Monday.
During the fourth set of Zverev’s 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 win over Sinner, Zverev suddenly stopped play and walked up to the chair official while pointing behind them into the stands.
“He just said the most famous Hitler phrase there is in this world,” Zverev told the official. “This is unacceptable. This is unbelievable.”
The official then started yelling at the crowd behind him, trying to figure out who said it.
— Lawrence (@dutyfreechamp) September 5, 2023
Zverev and Sinner quickly resumed play, and Zverev won the game to take a 3-2 lead in the set. During the break, a group of security walked up to a man who was sitting about 10 rows back at Arthur Ashe Stadium and escorted him out of the venue.
Security is escorting out a fan who yelled during the Jannik Sinner & Alexander Zverev match.
Zverev said he yelled "the most famous Hitler phrase.”
Security looked for him for at least 10 minutes.
The crowd cheered as he left.
Good riddance. pic.twitter.com/LzKDBm3r5A
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 5, 2023
After the match, Zverev told the media what the fan had been yelling and his feelings about the incident.
“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,” Zverev said via the Associated Press.
“I think he was getting involved in the match for a long time, though. 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 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.”
The USTA confirmed that a fan made a "disparaging remark" toward Zverev and was escorted from the stadium.
Zverev, who is from Hamburg, Germany, took an early lead Monday after flying through a dominant third set, in which he won four straight games to close out a 6-2 win. He was leading when the fan incident happened in the fourth set, but Sinner rallied and won three straight games to force a fifth set.
While he looked like he was in pain during the fourth set, Zverev came out hot in the final set and rolled into the quarterfinals. He survived a ridiculous third game that seemed to go on forever to take a 3-0 lead and held on the rest of the way to take a 6-3 win.
It's 1:11 a.m.
And the effort remains off the charts! pic.twitter.com/YlcTNzSce8
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2023
The match, which ended just before 1:45 a.m. ET Tuesday, was the longest of the US Open so far.
Zverev will now advance to the quarterfinals and take on top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Matteo Arnaldi in straight sets in his match earlier Monday. Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev will square off in the other quarterfinals match on this side of the bracket.