Andrea Petkovic says she has “never felt so disrespected” after a blunder involving the German national anthem during their Fed Cup tie against the United States.
Old, banned version
The Germans were upset and incensed following a blunder at the opening ceremony to the World Group tie in Maui, Hawaii on Saturday. An American artist sang the old, outdated version of Deutschlandlied - the German anthem, which contains a stanza which has been banned since 1945 for being considered overtly nationalist. The lyrics, Deutschland über alles (‘Germany above all else’) is a reference to German supremacy and was removed in Germany, because of its strong links to the Nazi era; since unification in 1991, only the third stanza of the old anthem is used.
Lack of respect
Organisers apologised for the mistake but a fuming Petkovic went on to lose to Alison Riske 7-6 (12/10), 6-2 to put the USA 1-0 up. “I have never felt so disrespected in my life, it was an absolute effrontery and insolence, of the very worst kind”, said the 29-year-old, adding that she and team-mate Julia Georges were in tears. “It is with some distance the worst thing which has happened to me in my life, especially at the Fed Cup. We're in 2017 - something like this should not happen in America. It is embarrassing and smacks of ignorance. The bad thing is that this effects us, not the Americans”.
Germany's team boss Barbara Rittner was horrified, saying later, “This is a real scandal and is inexcusable. I could have cried, because it is always a special moment, which gives you goosebumps, when you hear the anthem being played. What happened here hits us hard”.
US Tennis Association president Katrina Adams immediately apologized to Rittner in person and has said they will investigate, promising that it was a mistake which “will not occur again”.