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Protesters disrupt two matches at Italian Open with confetti

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Protesters wearing orange vests and toting bags of confetti have disrupted two matches at the Italian Open in Rome.

Madison Keys of the U.S. and Sorana Cirstea of Romania had their round-of-16 contest disrupted with the former leading 6-2, 3-1.

An individual entered the court and began throwing confetti all over the clay. Security removed them before play was suspended to clear the surface but the protester who entered the court had time to don an orange vest before security got anywhere near them. There were two further protesters in the stands.

Play was suspended for nearly an hour before the players returned to the court around 12.40 local time.

Almost simultaneously, two more people did the same thing during Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Santiago Gonzalez’s doubles encounter with Marcelo Arevalo and Mate Pavic, also resulting in the match being suspended. They were able to sit down in front of the net before being escorted away, but play did not resume until after 1.00 pm local time.

During the coverage of the tournament on Sky Sports, commentator Adam Fielder noted that Alex de Minaur and Felix Auger-Aliassime’s match on the Grandstand was also delayed by an apparent protest, though no-one was able to enter the court.

The protesters were representing The Last Generation, a climate change activism group which has organised climate protests in Italy since 2022. It has previously targeted the Rome Marathon, as well as Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ at the Uffizi, in Florence.

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(Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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