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The protestor, who was wearing a white t-shirt displaying the message, ‘We have 1028 days left’ jumped onto the court and attached themselves to the net using a chain that went around their neck.
Security were slow to react to the situation and the players were taken off the court as the match was suspended.
The individual was eventually removed from the net and carried off the court by security. The players returned to the court and resumed the match after a delay of around 10 minutes.
The French organisation Dernière Rénovation claimed responsibility for the protest. In a post on Twitter, the group said a 22-year-old protestor called Alizée had entered the court “to draw attention to the climate emergency”.
‘1028 days’ appears to be a reference to the UN’s latest climate report, which gave a deadline of 2025 for the world’s emissions to peak in order to prevent disastrous climate change effects.
After a short warm-up the players resumed the match and Norwegian eighth seed Ruud wrapped up a 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2 victory and secured a meeting with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in the final.
The 23-year-old told Eurosport: “I was a bit scared, honestly. I didn’t know what was going on. It’s never happened to me [before]. We left the court and when we got back I was able to keep my focus. But it was a little bit challenging, yes.”
Although the protest was completely peaceful, the lapse in stadium security brought back unfortunate memories of the star player Monica Seles being stabbed by a spectator who ran onto the court at the Hamburg Open in 1993.
Both men’s semi-finals at Roland Garros saw unexpected incident on a remarkable men’s semi-finals day.
Earlier in the day, the other semi-final between Alexander Zverev and Nadal was brought to an early end after the German player was forced to retire from the match due to what seemed to be a horrendous ankle injury.