Germany's Andrea Petkovic was upset after American officials played the wrong national anthem.
Germany's Andrea Petkovic was upset after American officials played the wrong national anthem. Bernd Weissbrod

Americans sorry for German anthem gaffe

TENNIS: American Fed Cup officials have apologised for playing the wrong version of the German national anthem in the quarter-final tie in Hawaii.

On the first day of the clash an American soloist sang an old version of the German anthem that begins - "Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles” - a reference to German supremacy.

German player Andrea Petkovic reiterated her outrage on Twitter as the Americans completed a 3-0 win to set up a semi-final clash with defending champion Czech Republic.

Petkovic said she "never felt so disrespected” and her German teammates were angry and upset after the opening ceremony blunder.

Singing the old version is unwelcome in Germany because of its strong links to the Nazi era, with only the third verse of the old anthem now used.

"I have never felt so disrespected in my life,” Petkovic said in her original Twitter post.

Petkovic toned down her comments after the match but was still upset.

"We were mainly (stunned) and did not know how we react. We feared the whole thing could fall back on us,” she wrote.

"I lost the match and was approached directly after the anthem. This may explain the emotional expression somewhat better.

"With (time) and a little more rationality, I can classify it as a mistake (for) which the Americans apologised to us.

"And again it is not the worst thing which happened to me in life. But it is the worst thing which happened to me in my Fed Cup life ever.”

Germany captain Barbara Rittner said she was horrified by the "respectless number” and had even thought about taking the microphone from the singer.

"This is a real scandal and is inexcusable,” she said.

"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, apologised to Rittner and vowed to probe the incident.


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