Laver Cup: A protester runs onto the pitch and briefly sets his hand on fire during the opening session at the O2 | Tennis news

A protester set his hand 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 competition.

Tsitsipas won the first set 6:2, and during the change, a man ran onto the court and lit a fire, which briefly set his hand on fire.

The person was wearing a t-shirt that read ‘End UK Private Jets’ and was quickly dragged off the pitch after the fire was put out.

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

Before the match could resume after a short delay, the surface was quickly inspected to ensure it had not been damaged during the freak incident.

It failed to knock world No. 6 Tsitsipas off her stride as Schwartzman made quick work of the second set to win 6-2, 6-1 to give Team Europe a 2-0 lead at the end of the afternoon session, but the Greek admitted she had pulled away. he and everyone at the O2 were shocked.

Team Europe's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after winning his match against Team World's Diego Schwartzman during the first day of the Laver Cup tennis tournament at the London O2, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Stefanos Tsitsipas won back-to-back wins against Diego Schwartzman

“It came out of nowhere. I have no idea what it’s about. I’ve never had an incident like this on the court. I hope he’s OK,” explained Tsitsipas, who spoke to the umpire before his singles clash resumed.

“I wanted to continue the game without making minor changes to the court and make sure it was playable, especially in that area. It also affected my viewing experience, how I saw the court afterwards. The footprint was big. there and I just wanted to get it right.”

Swiss great Roger Federer takes to the court late in the day for the final match of his career, with the 41-year-old partnering his great rival Rafael Nadal to face the American duo of Sock and Frances Tiafoe.

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Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray met again on the court in a training session before the Laver Cup.

Protest saying goodbye to Federer

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

“He was wearing a t-shirt that said ‘End UK private jets’ and of course all these players arrived at the Laver Cup by private jet, including Roger Federer, whose last match is tonight. It certainly takes the shine off the occasion. .”