Swiss fury as Germans 'steal' their tennis star

The Local
The Local - n[email protected] • 27 Jan, 2014 Updated Mon 27 Jan 2014 17:12 CEST
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Swiss papers claimed to be furious on Monday after German tabloids “stole” the country’s new tennis superstar, Stanislas Wawrinka.

“The German Tennis Sensation”, was Bild Zeitung’s headline following the 28-year-old's victory in Sunday's Australian Open, citing the fact that Wawrinka holds dual Swiss and German nationality — a headline that Swiss tabloid 20 Minutes said would “cause many Swiss fans to choke.”

But Swiss papers were having none of it, with tabloid Blick pointing out acidly that ‘Stan’s’ great-grandfather, via whom he acquired his German passport, had only briefly lived in Germany after fleeing Czechoslovakia in 1946. It also pointed out that Lausanne-born Wawrinka spoke no German and was treated as Swiss by the ATP, tennis’s governing body.

The paper put Bild’s story down to sour grapes, due to Germany’s recent lack of tennis superstars. “How desperate are they really,” it asked.

Wawrinka's victory is the source of much national pride in Switzerland, with the country's press praising the star's down to earth attitude and display of ostensibly Swiss virtues.

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