THE US OPEN was rocked by an alleged racial slur last night during the round of 16 clash between Alexander Zverev and Jannik Sinner.
The pair were competing in a thrilling fourth round tie in New York when the German No.12 seed complained to the umpire about a comment he heard just seconds before a point.
A courtside microphone heard Hamburg-born Zverev, 26, tell British tennis official James Keothavong that a fan had “said the most famous Hitler phrase to me”.
He then went on to add: “It's unacceptable.”
The umpire spun around in his chair towards the crowd to address those sitting courtside and asked the culprit to own up, leading to no response.
That then led to Keothavong telling the whole crowd to respect the players as security was sent into the area after the alleged incident.
The match then got back underway, but moments later the cameras cut back to the stands to show a middle-aged man being spoken to by security guards.
Then, to the delight of those seated around him, he was shown being led out of the arena.
It still remains unclear if the man shown by ESPN’s cameras was the one who made the alleged slur or what exactly was said by him to lead to his removal.
Zverev won the first set against Italian rival Sinner, who is ranked No.12 in the world.
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Sinner fought back to level before Zverev took the third set only for him then to be pegged back again to force a decider.
However, Zverev advanced to the quarters, where he will face Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday, after claiming the fifth 6-3.
Yesterday’s alleged racial remark is not the first crowd incident at this year’s US Open.
Daniil Medvedev lashed out as he criticised the supporters' noise after beating Sebastian Baez.
He said: “Thanks to all those who didn't yell between my first and second serve.
“However, there was a spectator, maybe he has a girlfriend or a wife who I don't know how she will sleep… He was particularly excited and will spend the night saying Vamos, vamos, vamos, without ever stopping. I'm sorry for him.”
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