With the tennis world focused on the 2022 Laver Cup as Roger Federer gets set to play in the final match of his professional career, a protester took advantage of the added attention.
Hours before the celebration that will be Federer’s farewell to tennis, an activist wearing a shirt that read “END UK PRIVATE JETS” stormed the court and set himself on fire in a reported attempt to protest climate change. Desperate to attract additional attention to his cause, the protester plopped near the net and shockingly lit a small fire on the court, allowing it to run up his arm before vigorously shaking his limb to extinguish the flame from his body.
A man has set his arm on fire after invading the court at the Laver Cup on Roger Federer's last day as a professional tennis player. pic.twitter.com/g0LcBU8PeJ
— Sam Street (@samstreetwrites) September 23, 2022
As seen in the above video from a spectator, officials were quick to the scene, with one member of security using his jacket to smother the remaining flame on the court before removing the protester. The incident took place during a match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman.
“It came out of nowhere. I have no idea what it’s all about. I never had an incident like this happen on-court, so I hope he’s all right,” said Tsitsipas, who went on to win the match.
Despite the bizarre protest, Federer’s farewell match is still scheduled for Friday afternoon. That will see the legendary tennis player teaming up with Rafael Nadal in a doubles event at the Laver Cup, a tournament that features play between Team Europe and Team World.
[Sam Street]; photo from Peter van den Berg/USA Today Sports]