A man set his hand on fire during a court protest in London as Roger Federer prepared to bid farewell to the sport he dominated for more than two decades.
The incident happened at London’s O2 during the opening session of the Laver Cup match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman when a man ran onto the court during the transition after the first set.
Wearing a T-shirt that read ‘End Private Jets in the UK’, the man lit a fire on the playing surface near the net. It then spread to his arm, but luckily it didn’t go any further and soon disappeared.
One of the three security guards used his jacket to put out the fire, which was still burning on the court, before the man was carried out of the arena.
Local police said the man, who was taken to hospital as a precaution, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault.
It failed to topple world No. 6 Tsitsipas from Greek Schwartzman 6-2 6-1, but Tsitsipas admitted he was shocked.
“It came out of nowhere. I have no idea what that is. There has never been such an incident in court. I hope everything is fine with him,” said Tsitsipas.
Federer was heartbroken when he finally took to the court for his doubles match alongside fellow champion and friend Rafael Nadal.
Despite a promising start, in which they won the first set, the star duo was eventually overcome by the American pair of Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe in three points: 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9.
It brought Federer’s stunning career, which includes 20 Grand Slams, to a close at the age of 41.
Earlier, Australia’s Alex de Minaur defeated Andy Murray in a marathon Laver Cup match, breaking the hearts of the locals.
The Australian won 5-7 6-3 10-7 in two hours and 29 minutes to open Team World’s account against Team Europe, cutting a 2-1 deficit to Europe after three singles matches on day one.
Both players were level, with Minaur winning just one more match point, but the world number 22 converted three of his five break points compared to Murray’s two break points of seven.