Laver Cup disrupted after protester sets himself on fire
The Laver Cup saw a bizarre happening on Friday after a protester set his arm on fire on day one of the Europe vs World competition.
The protestor was able to break his way onto the court just before the second set of the contest between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman, ahead of Roger Federer’s last ever match in the Laver Cup doubles with Rafael Nadal.
Wearing at t-shirt reading “End UK Private Jets”, the man sat down in the service box and set his arm on fire with a lighter. Security acted swiftly to remove the man from the court being held in a corridor off the side of the arena.
“It came out of nowhere, I have no idea what it’s all about,” Tsitsipas said of the moment defeating Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1. “I never had an incident like this happen on-court, so I hope he’s all right.”
the match was paused after the incident before play was resumed, though Tsitsipas spoke with the umpire to ensure the surface was playable after the fire did burn on the court momentarily.
“I wanted to proceed with that match without having any minor changes to the court, and I wanted to make sure it’s playable, especially that area,” he explained. “It also got in my way in my viewing kind of experience of the court, the way I saw the court later. There was a big mark over there, and I wanted it to be cleaned up in order for me to proceed the way I did before.”
This is not the first time in 2022 that a protester has disrupted a high level match, with incidents in the Australian Open men’s final in January and a French Open semi-final between Marin Cilic and Casper Ruud, where a woman chained herself to the net and had to be removed.
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