Ahead of this past weekend's Fed Cup tie between Teams USA and Germany in Hawaii, fun, beach-y moments such as the Americans' Baywatch exercise made for lighthearted fare.
Then the deluge.
A singer delivered a German national anthem that included lyrics from the country's Nazi-era version.
Nazi-era German anthem prompts outrage and apology at Fed Cup pic.twitter.com/zp5PWo0rr3— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) February 12, 2017
Deutsche players including Andrea Petkovic were horrified. German tennis scribe Doris Henkel quoted Petkovic's response, and German Fed Cup captain Barbara Rittner saw the Hawaiian rain as something of a sign.
@andreapetkovic on the shameful incident with German anthem at opening: that was the epitome of ignorance. Never felt more disrespected— Doris Henkel (@henner37) February 12, 2017
Noch Fragen??? pic.twitter.com/B9ct2x6SGp— Barbara Rittner (@BarbaraRittner) February 12, 2017
The USTA moved quickly to soften the blow of the outrage, though the German Tennis Federation noted the ongoing feeling of the slight with a terse reply on Twitter.
@DTB_Tennis We can assure you that it won't. Again, our sincere apologies.— USTA (@usta) February 11, 2017
Petkovic later sought to provide further clarity to her remarks via a Twitter post:
Ein Versuch der weniger emotionalen Erklärung bzgl. der gestrigen Hymnen Geschichte. Ich denke, es setzt Dinge besser in Perspektive: pic.twitter.com/MSh3XNPpoZ— Andrea Petkovic (@andreapetkovic) February 12, 2017
Team USA won the tie, 4-0, on the strength of Alison Riske and CoCo Vandeweghe's singles play. Vandeweghe rattled off 10 straight games from a set and a break down against Petkovic to seal the victory.
Strained relations due to the musical gaffe persisted throughout the weekend, but it was the tennis that Rittner didn't find thrilling.