A protester entered the pitch and set his arm on fire during the match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwarzman on the opening day of the Laver Cup at London’s O2 Arena.
After Tsitsipas won the first set, protesters took to the field wearing a shirt that read “End British Private Jets” in capital letters. After sitting inside the serving box, he poured the liquid on his right arm and lit his arm with a lighter.
“It came out of nowhere. I don’t know how it was. I’ve never had an incident like this on the pitch, so I wish him all the best,” beat Schwarz 6-2, 6-1 Tsitsipas of Tzman said.
The protesters eventually put out the blaze by shaking their arms, but some of the liquid fell on the court, and a small fire broke out on the surface of the court, which was put out by a security guard with a jacket.
After the protester was taken away from the courtroom, he was temporarily held by security guards in the hallway at the entrance to the courtroom, where he did not appear to have suffered any major injuries. The protester is believed to represent “Sacrifice for Survival”, a climate emergency protest initiative after activists set themselves on fire daily to block flights between different locations within the UK.
The game was briefly suspended after the protesters left as the field was cleared, and Tsitsipas spoke with the referee to make sure the field was in good condition before agreeing to resume.
“I wanted to continue that game without changing the course, and I wanted to make sure it was playable, especially that area,” Tsitsipas said.
“It also got in the way of my viewing experience of the stadium, the way I saw it afterwards. There was a big mark over there and I wanted to clean it up so I could move on like before.”
Protests are not uncommon at high-profile tennis matches, including at this year’s Australian Open final between Daniel Medvedev and Rafael Nadal, where protesters held up signs reading “Abolish Refugees” Detention” banner jumped to Rod Laver Arena. An environmental protester tied himself to the net with wire and glue during the semi-final between Caspar Luther and Marin Cilic at the French Open.
The Laver Cup, a Ryder Cup-inspired team competition in which European teams take on world teams, featured a number of players arriving in the UK on private jets during the pre-match promotion, including Roger Federer and Novak. Djokovic.