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Laver Cup 2022: Climate change protester storms onto pitch, lights arm on fire

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just a few hours before great tennis player Roger Federer was scheduled to play his final match at the 2022 Laver Cup, a match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman was halted on Friday after a British protester stormed onto the pitch and set his arm on fire to protest the use of private jets. .

A man wearing a T-shirt that said “End UK Private Jets” ran towards O2 Arena Center Court in London where he proceeded to set his arm on fire.

A protester is removed after invading the pitch, with the slogan ‘Stop UK Private Jets’ during the singles match between Team Europe’s Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Team World’s Diego Schwartzman of Argentina at the 2022 Laver Cup in The O2 Arena in London on September 1, 2020. 23, 2022.
(GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

He quickly doused the flames on his arm before security rushed onto the field to extinguish the remaining fire and drag the man out.

ROGER FEDERER WILL BE PAIRED WITH THE TENNIS LEGEND FOR THE FINAL MATCH

The field was not damaged in the demonstration. The man involved belongs to a group that claims “carbon emissions in 2022 are genocide.” Reuters reported, citing local media.

A man sets his hand on fire during a protest at a match between Team World's Diego Schwartzman and Team Europe's Stefanos Tsitsipas on day one of the Laver Cup tennis tournament at The O2 in London, Friday, September 23, 2022.

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

The protester “has been arrested and the situation is being handled by the police,” Laver Cup organizers said in a statement.

“It came out of nowhere. I have no idea what this is all about. An incident like this has never happened on the pitch. I hope he’s okay,” Tsitsipas said of the incident. via SkySports.

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“I wanted to continue the match without minor changes on the pitch and make sure it was playable, especially in that area. It also got in the way of how I looked at the experience, the way I looked at the pitch later. There was a big mark there. And I just wanted to clear it up.”

A protester lights a fire on the pitch on day one of the Laver Cup at the O2 Arena, London, on Friday, September 23, 2022.

A protester lights a fire on the pitch on day one of the Laver Cup at the O2 Arena, London, on Friday, September 23, 2022.
(John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Fortunately for Tsitsipas, the incident did not derail his game and he beat Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1 for Team Europe’s victory over Team World.

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Federer will make an appearance on the same court on Friday night when he teams up with rival and friend Rafael Nadal in a doubles match: his end before retiring.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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