HomeSportsClimate protests disrupt Italian Tennis Open

Climate protests disrupt Italian Tennis Open


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Panoramic views of the central tennis stadium during the match Spain Rafael Nadal vs Belgium Zizou Bergs at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Thursday, May 9, 2024.
Photo: Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse

Two matches at the Italian Open in Rome were suspended following a protest by climate activists.

The last-16 tie between Madison Keys and Sorana Cirstea was interrupted, along with a doubles match in which Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin were facing Marcelo Arevalo and Mate Pavic.

American Keys was leading 6-2 3-1 when, according to a statement on the Italian Open website, two activists wearing orange vests ran on to the court and threw confetti.

Others glued themselves to the stand before police and firefighters arrived.

The protesters were taken away before the match resumed and Keys beat Romanian Cirstea 6-2 6-1.

There were similar scenes which caused a temporary stoppage to the doubles match on court 12.

In tennis action, Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie lost his third-round match to sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.

Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Norrie improved in the second set when he recovered from being broken early but the Greek won 6-2 7-6 (7-1) to progress to the last 16.

“My patience and determination in the tie-break, trying to hang in there and make as many balls as I could and make as many balls as deep as possible so I didn’t have to defend much, was something that gave me the 7-1 in the tie-break,” Tsitsipas said.

“That was a relief. It was getting really close and the match was played in a few small details.”

Naomi Osaka lost 6-2 6-3 to China’s Zheng Qinwen in the last 16 in the women’s tournament.

Zheng, the Australian Open runner-up in January, reeled off seven straight games from 2-1 down in the first set.

She completed victory in one hour 24 minutes against Japan’s Osaka, who was making her first appearance at the tournament since 2021.

Zheng will play Coco Gauff or Paula Badosa in the quarter-finals.


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