Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas admitted that he was left stunned after a climate change protestor set himself on fire during his Laver Cup match. On Friday, Team Europe's Tsitsipas clashed Diego Schwarzman of Team World at the Laver Cup in London.
During the changeover at the end of the opener, a protestor made his way onto the court and set his arm on fire. The security poured water on the protestor's arm and later escorted him out of the arena. “It came out of nowhere.
I had no idea what this was all about. I’ve never had an incident like this before on court. I hope he’s alright,” Tsitsipas said, per Eurosport.
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.
Tsitsipas wanted to ensure the playing conditions were in place
The fire caught a bit of the court, but luckily it wasn't damaged.
After the match, Tsitsipas was asked whether his discussion with the chair umpire was related to the court condition: “Correct,” Tsitsipas answered. “I wanted to proceed that match without having any minor changes to the court.
I wanted to make sure it was playable, especially that area. It also got in my way, the way I saw the court later, there was a big mark and I wanted it to be cleaned up”. Meanwhile, Tsitsipas wasn't distracted by what happened during their match.
In the end, Tsitsipas claimed a 6-2 6-1 win over Schwartzman. After crushing Schwartzman, Tsitsipas insisted he was “a serious opponent.” “I knew I was dealing with a serious opponent. Diego is someone that gets back to every ball.
It was more of a physical challenge than anything else. I'm glad with the way I approached my tactics and I was very patient today which helped,” Tsitsipas explained. Earlier this year at the Monte Carlo Masters, Tsitsipas recovered from a 0-4 third set deficit to beat Schwartzman 6-2 6-7 (3) 6-4. Also, Tsitsipas defeated Schwartzman this summer at the Cincinnati Masters.