Semi-final suspended after short invasion

A protester tied herself to the net at the French Open and had to be removed by security guards. Image: Getty

Tea French Open was rocked by wild scenes at Roland Garros on Friday when a protester tied herself to the net during the semi-final clash between Casper Ruud and Marin Cilic.

Tea semi-final was halted for around 10 minutes after the woman invaded the court and managed to tie herself to the net.

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The woman, believed to be a climate change activist, was wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan: ‘We have 1028 days left’.

She managed to walk onto Court Phillipe-Chatrier unchallenged during the third set, raising serious questions about security.

Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo was among those watching as the players left the court for 13 minutes while the woman was removed.

She was eventually untied and carried off the court by a number of security guards.

The incident came after Alexander Zverev suffered a serious ankle injury in the first semi-final, forcing him to retire hurt against Rafael Nadal.

Tournament chiefs later said the protester, who had a valid ticket, had been handed over to the police.

“At 9.12 pm, an environmental activist managed to get onto Philippe-Chatrier court and attached herself to the net with metal wires and glue,” the French Tennis Federation said in a statement.

“The security team needed to formally identify the objects she used to get onto the court before they could remove her.

“The players were escorted to the changing rooms. The score was 3-6 6-4 4-1 to Casper Ruud against Marin Cilic.

“Play was suspended for 13 minutes, and resumed at 9.25 pm.

“The young woman, of French nationality, entered the grounds with a valid ticket early in the day. She was then handed over to the police.”

A protester, pictured here tying herself to the net during the semi-final between Marin Cilic and Casper Ruud at the French Open.

A protester tied herself to the net during the semi-final between Marin Cilic and Casper Ruud at the French Open. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Tennis world reacts to French Open protest incident

Speaking in commentary for Eurosport, Tim Henman described the incident as “unsettling” and said he felt for the players.

“No, really shocking scenes, she jumped onto the court and sat down next to the net and it seems like she has attached herself to the net and had something written on her shirt as well and she has tied something around her neck,” Henman said.

“So horrible circumstances for the players, and it’s obviously one of their biggest matches and now you’ve got an interruption midway through this third set.

“The players have rightly been taken off the court and it’s up to the security to get things under control.

“It’s not what you are expecting, we were so shocked to see the Zverev situation and we get on to the second match, midway through the third set, and it is very unsettling for everyone, it’s unsettling here in the studio.

Casper Ruud and Marin Cilic, pictured here shaking hands after their semi-final clash at the French Open.

Casper Ruud and Marin Cilic shake hands after their semi-final clash at the French Open. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

“It’s scary for that type of thing, we didn’t expect that at all and we go back to that mentality of sport, it’s about staying in the present and not worrying about the past because you can’t change it.

“So to have a protest on the court is unsettling, so I hope they can get back out there and play some great tennis and it doesn’t have an impact on this third set.”

Barbara Schett added: “A woman literally jumped onto court and has tied herself up on the net, I have never seen anything like this.”

Ruud became the first man from Norway to reach a grand slam final, beating Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

The 23-year-old Ruud has never faced Nadal but trained at the King of Clay’s academy in Mallorca.

“He’s a perfect example of how you should behave on court: Never give up and never complain. He’s been my idol for all my life,” Ruud said ahead of his clash with Nadal in the final.

“I guess this is perfect timing and worth the wait to finally play him in a grand slam final.”

with agencies

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