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Tennis world stunned after protestor sets fire to arm during Roger Federer's last ever match event

Jayden Collins

| Last updated 

Tennis world stunned after protestor sets fire to arm during Roger Federer's last ever match event

Tennis fans were left shocked over the weekend when a protestor made their way onto the court of Roger Federer’s farewell match and set his own arm on fire.

The incident occurred at London’s O2 ahead of the tennis legend’s final match teaming up with friend and legendary rival Rafael Nadal. 

The demonstrator had found his way onto the court during the opening session match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman on the first day of the 2022 Laver Cup.

Following the first set the man, who was wearing a T-shirt that read ‘End UK Private Jets’, ran onto the court to light a fire which briefly caught alight on his own arm.

It is unclear whether the man intentionally set fire to himself, however, he appeared in shock and pain when the flame travelled up his arm. 

Fans and players alike were left shocked by the events that were playing out in front of them, as security personnel quickly made their way onto the court and put out the fire.

The man was dragged out by his hands and legs as boos rained down from the crowd.

According to Sky News, the Metropolitan Police say the man was arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

He was also taken to hospital as a precaution, although his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Greek star Tsitsipas spoke to the chair umpire to ensure the court was safe to play on, as the fire mark was cleaned up.

Speaking after the match, the Greek player said: “It came out of nowhere … I never had an incident like this happen on court.

"I hope he's all right."

Tennis fans online, however, had no sympathy for the demonstrator.

One user tweeted: “Protester sets own arm on fire, instantly realises fire is hot.”

Another wrote: “Lmfao what exactly did he expect fire to feel like.”

A third asked: “What the f**k is wrong with people?”

The brief incident didn’t hamper what was an emotional evening for the tennis world. 

Credit: Xinhua / Alamy
Credit: Xinhua / Alamy

Unfortunately for Federer, he bowed out with a loss alongside Nadal against Americans France Tiafoe and Jack Sock. 

Although, Tiafoe had no qualms about spoiling the Swiss star’s night.

Following the matchup, Tiafoe said: "I'm not going to apologise to him. He's got a lot to apologise for after the last 24 years — after beating everybody on the tour.

"I will say thank you for having me in this amazing event, what he's done for the game. He's a class act. Happy to know him, happy to call him a friend, happy to call him a colleague, and best wishes in his second act. But I will not apologise."

Featured Image Credit: @samstreetwrites/Twitter.

Topics: Tennis, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal

Jayden Collins

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