Protestor ‘sets fire to himself’ on court at Laver Cup with fans left gobsmacked

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Tennis fans have been left gobsmacked after a protestor appeared to set fire to himself and the floor on court at the Laver Cup.

Play had to be stopped during the match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman on Friday before the man in question was dragged off the court. Pictures from inside the stadium seemed to show the man's arm alight along with an object on the floor next to him, before security stepped in to drag him off and put out the flames.

The protestor was also wearing a shirt which read "End UK private jets", with tennis fans taking to social media after incident to share their disbelief.

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One fan tweeted: “Erm… someone just walked on court, sat down, and set themselves and the court on fire WTF!” Another added: “Has a protestor actually just tried to set themself on fire at the @LaverCup. What on Earth?!”

A third viewer also wrote: “Holy shit. Some nutter just managed to get on to court, light some type of flare and tried to set fire to himself / the court between points. How the hell did he get that far? What was security doing?!”

Another tweeted: "A protestor just set himself on fire on the court in front of us." The incident occurred during the second match of the day at the O2 Arena.

The fifth edition of the team tennis tournament only got underway on Friday, with Team Europe already taking a 2-0 lead after Tsitsipas won in straight sets after play had resumed.

Casper Ruud had beaten Jack Sock earlier in the day in the opening match of the tournament. 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is set to play his final professional match later on Friday.

The Swiss tennis legend will partner long-time rival Rafael Nadal in a doubles match against Sock and Frances Tiafoe in the final match on Friday.

The scenes at the Laver Cup are the latest in a number of climate change protests to take place at sporting events in Europe this year, with football matches and Formula One races both disrupted.


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