Ahead of the Qatar Total Open, World No5 Dominika Cibulkova tries Sport360’s Arabic Test.
Let’s see how she fares…
Whether they’ve watched the Australian Open final or not, the stars of the WTA are united in awe of Serena and Venus Williams.
Sport’s most famous and successful sister act wrote a new chapter in tennis history when they faced off in the title decider in Melbourne, and at 35 and 36, Serena and Venus showed the world there is no expiration date to their record-shattering ways.
World No6 Agnieszka Radwanska watched both the women’s and men’s (Federer v Nadal) Australian Open finals and said it felt like a blast from the past.
“Well, it was a very good match. Of course, reminds me those times when I was a kid and I was watching them (Venus and Serena) playing finals. That was kind of, like, comeback for the beginning of the 2000s years,” Radwanska told reporters in Doha.
Dominika Cibulkova, the world No5 who is seeded third in the Qatari capital this week, lost in the third round in Melbourne and said she never watches matches after exiting the tournament.
She did however describe both Williams sisters as inspirational.
“Serena, she’s a legend. I think it was great for her. She said she had only one goal: to come there and to win a grand slam. Her confidence is really, really something we all can look up to,” said Cibulkova of the world No1, who captured an Open Era record 23rd major title last month.
“And Venus, you know, I think she gives hope to – I don’t want this to sound bad – but, like, she’s older than me, and she still can play finals of a grand slam. That’s something I really admire in her,” added the 27-year-old Slovak.
The Germans were upset and angry following a blunder at the opening ceremony to the World Group tie in Maui, Hawaii, on Saturday.
An American soloist sang an old version of the German anthem which leads off with a stanza considered overtly nationalist – “Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles” – a reference to German supremacy.
Singing that version is a major ‘no-no’ in Germany, because of its strong links to the Nazi era, and only the third stanza of the old anthem is now in use.
Organisers apologised for the gaffe but a fuming Petkovic went on to lose to Alison Riske 7-6 (12/10), 6-2 to put the USA 1-0 up in the first singles rubber.
The president of the US Tennis Association, Katrina Adams, immediately apologised to Rittner in person and has said they will investigate.
The USTA extends a sincere apology to the German Fed Cup team & fans 4 the outdated National Anthem. This mistake will not occur again. pic.twitter.com/4LyG3ACe5u— USTA (@usta) February 11, 2017
The German tennis federation replied tersely, saying:
The anthem gaffe cast a cloud over the German camp even before Petkovic’s defeat.
Here, Sport360 looks at other examples when the wrong national anthem has been played at sporting events.
URUGUAY VS MEXICO, COPA AMERICA, 2016
Uruguay were in for a shock when they lined up for the national anthems ahead of their game against Mexico, as they were greeted by Chile’s national anthem rather than their own. The gaffe drew a raised eyebrow from Luis Suarez and boos from the Uruguay fans in the crowd.
SPAIN VS AUSTRALIA, DAVIS CUP, 2003
At the 2003 Davis Cup final in Melbourne, a mix-up led to an outdated anthem being played for Spain, one that was used as the national anthem only between 1931 and 1939 and contained crude jokes about the Spanish royal family. The Spanish sports minister stormed out of the stadium, while organisers tried to make up for the mistake by playing the correct national anthem for the rest of the weekend.
2012 ARAB SHOOTING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The people of Kazakhstan were outraged by Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedy film, Borat, in which the country was depicted in a satirical light that was not appreciated. When the spoof anthem used in the movie was played at the Arab Shooting Championships for gold medallist Maria Dmitrienko, the Kazakh delegation was outraged, and the medal ceremony was rerun.
NORTH KOREA vs COLOMBIA, 2012 OLYMPICS
Not exactly a national anthem gaffe, but the North Korean women’s football team was left fuming at the beginning of their game against Colombia in the 2012 Olympics. The big screen at the ground put the South Korean flag alongside images of the North Korean team, leading the team to leave the pitch in protest. The match was delayed by an hour as the error was rectified.
NIGERIA vs JAPAN, MEN’S FOOTBALL, 2016 OLYMPICS
Another Olympics, another error. Organisers at Rio de Janeiro belatedly realised they’d played the anthem for Niger, not Nigeria, ahead of Nigeria’s game against Japan. Fans immediately took to social media to condemn the mistake, and the Nigerian team later received an apology.
ARGENTINA VS EL SALVADOR, 2015
Isle of Man’s national anthem is called Ellan Vannin in the island’s native language, Manx, which is the only fact that lends a semblance of sense here. Ellan Vannin and El Salvador are next to each other on a list of national anthems, and the Manx anthem was played for El Salvador ahead of this football friendly in the United States.