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Laver Cup: Protester runs onto the pitch and briefly sets his arm on fire during the opening session at The O2 | tennis news

A man sets fire on his hand during protest at a match Team World's Diego Schwartzman against Team Europe's Stefanos Tsitsipas on day one of the Laver Cup tennis tournament at the O2 in London, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

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A protester set his arm on fire during the opening session of this year’s Laver Cup at The O2 in London.

The incident happened during the match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman on the first day of the match.


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Tsitsipas took the first set 6-2 and during the switch a man ran onto the field and lit a fire, setting his arm ablaze for a moment.

The person was wearing a T-shirt that read: “End UK Private Jets” and was quickly dragged out of court after the fire was extinguished.

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The protester was quickly taken away by security before the match resumed

There was a quick check of the surface to ensure it had not been damaged in the bizarre incident before the game could resume after a short delay.

It failed to let the world number 6 Tsitsipas out of his step and the second set picked up quickly, beating Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1 to beat Team Europe 2-0 at the end of the afternoon session. lead, but the Greek athlete admitted that he had left. shocked him and everyone at The O2.

Team Europe's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after winning a match against Team World's Diego Schwartzman on the first day of the Laver Cup tennis tournament at the O2 in London, Friday, September 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
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Stefanos Tsitsipas takes a straight-set win against Diego Schwartzman

“It came out of nowhere. I have no idea what this is about. I’ve never seen an incident like this on track. I hope he’s okay,” Tsitsipas explained, after speaking to the referee before his singles clash resumed.

“I wanted to continue the game without minor changes to the pitch and make sure it was playable, especially that area. It also got in the way of my viewing experience, the way I saw the pitch later. There was a big impression there and I just wanted to clean it up.”

Swiss great Roger Federer will go to court later in the day for the final game of his career, which will see the 41-year-old face off against American duo Sock and Frances Tiafoe alongside great rival Rafael Nadal.

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Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray reunited on track in a pre-Laver Cup practice session

Protest to say goodbye to Federer

Jacquie Beltrao of Sky Sports, at the O2 during the incident, said: “If you’ve ever been to the O2, the pitch is very lit and the crowd very dark, so the players wouldn’t be able to see him coming.

“He was wearing a T-shirt that read ‘End UK private jets’ and of course all these players came to the Laver Cup on a private jet, including Roger Federer, whose last game is tonight. That will certainly take a shine off the occasion. ”