(CTN News) – During a match at the Laver Cup tennis event on Friday, a protester set a match court ablaze and his arm on fire. The second set between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman at the O2 Arena has been delayed as a result.
A white T-shirt with an anti-private jet message was worn by the activist as he made his way to the Laver Cup court and sat down near the net with a lighter in hand. The person was eventually carried away by security guards.
In a post-match interview, Tsitsipas, the 2021 runner-up at the French Open, said: “I never had an incident like this happen on court before.” “I hope everything turned out okay for him.”
In order to continue playing, Tsitsipas spoke to the chair umpire to ensure it would be safe.
“A man accessed the court this afternoon and was promptly removed by security,” the Laver Cup stated in a statement. “Play was temporarily stopped, he was arrested, and the police are handling the situation.”
Defeating Team World’s Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1, Tsitsipas gave Team Europe a 2-0 lead in the competition.
Roger Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion, was slated to compete hours later Friday in his final competitive match, teaming up for doubles with longtime rival Rafael Nadal.
Federer, 41, hasn’t played an official match since Wimbledon in July 2021 and is ending his playing career after a series of operations on his right knee.
Laver Cup Live Updates Will Be Available Here
In recent years, other high-profile tennis matches have been interrupted, such as during the 2009 Roland Garros final, when Federer was tried to put a hat on by a man.
This year’s French Open was interrupted by a protester wearing a T-shirt with the message, “We have 1028 days left,” who attached herself to the net with metal wire and glue and kneeled on the court during the semifinal between Casper Ruud and 2014 US Open champ Marin Cilic.