A protester set the court and set his arm on fire during a match at the Lever Cup tennis event on Friday, briefly delaying the start of the second set between Stefanos Tsitsipas And the Diego Schwartzman At the O2 Arena.
The activist, carrying a lighter and wearing a white T-shirt with a message on private jets, made his way to the pitch black and sat near the net. Eventually, the person was taken away by security guards.
He came out of nowhere… “Hopefully he’s fine,” Tsitsipas, the 2021 French Open runner-up, said afterwards.
Tsitsipas spoke to the chair umpire to make sure it would be safe to continue playing and asked to clean up the mark left on the court.
“A man arrived at court this afternoon and was quickly taken out by security personnel,” the Laver Cup said in a statement. “Play was stopped for a while, he was arrested and the police are dealing with the situation.”
Tsitsipas scored Team Europe’s 6-2 6-1 victory over Schwartzman’s World Team to give his team a 2-0 lead in the competition.
Federer, 41, has not played an official match since Wimbledon in July 2021, and is ending his football career after a series of operations on his right knee.
There have been other instances of high-profile tennis on hold in recent years, including during the 2009 final at Roland Garros, when a man went to Federer and tried to put a hat on his head.
At this year’s French Open, in June, a protester wearing a T-shirt with the message “1028 days left” interrupted the men’s semi-final match between Casper Road 2014 US Open Champion Marin Cilic By attaching herself to the net with metal wire and glue and kneeling in the field.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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