The 2022 French Open semi-finals between Casper Ruud and Marin Cilic faced a bizarre disruption as a woman protestor walked into the court and tied herself to the net as a form of protest
An environmental protestor wearing a T-shirt that read “We have 1028 days left” disrupted the French Open men’s semifinal between Casper Ruud and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic on Friday by gluing herself to the net and kneeling on the court.
The play was halted for 13 minutes while Ruud was serving in the third set with a 3-6, 6-4, 4-1, a 15-all advantage in Court Philippe Chatrier.
“The young woman, of French nationality, entered the grounds with a valid ticket early in the day,” according to a statement released by the French Tennis Federation. Ruud won in four sets to reach his first Grand Slam final and is now set to face Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam finale.
On the other hand, the semi-final game between Nadal and Alexander Zverev faced another halt as Zverev suffered a major injury and had to exit the court in a wheelchair.
The protester stayed on the court for several minutes before four security guards approached her, disconnected her from the net, and hauled her away.
“The security team needed to formally identify the objects she used to get onto the court before they could remove her,” the federation said, adding that she was “handed over to the police.”
“I didn’t really know how to react to it, and … I didn’t know if she was holding anything,” Ruud said. “I didn’t get to see too much. So it was a little bit (of a) tricky and difficult situation. Never happened to me before.”
The demonstrator is a member of a climate activist group called Derniere Renovation, which translates to Last Renovation. She apparently had a legitimate ticket to the event. Dernière Rénovation took responsibility for the act
“We are in 2022 and it is time to look reality in the face, the world to which politicians are sending us is a world to which Roland Garros will no longer be able to exist.
“Today, I entered the field because I can no longer take the risk of doing nothing in the face of the climate emergency,” the website read.
This wasn’t the first occasion in recent weeks that a protestor stormed the court during a sporting event. A protestor was observed trying to stick herself to the floor during an NBA play-in game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves in April.
In April, a protestor attached herself to the hoop before being dragged out of a Timberwolves game.