Play stopped for roughly 15 minutes as security worked to remove the protestor from the court
The 2022 French Open men’s semifinal between Casper Ruud and Marin Cilic was interrupted when a woman walked onto the court and tied her neck to the net as a form of protest. Ruud had the serve in the middle of the third set when, all of a sudden, a woman entered Court Philippe Chatrier and quickly used what officials said were metal wires and glue to tie herself to Cilic’s side of the net.
After tying herself to the net, the protestor kneeled on the clay and both players left the court. Security proceeded to remove the protestor, and play resumed in roughly 15 minutes.
“It was a bit scary honestly and I didn’t know what was going on,” Ruud told BBC.
Ruud eventually won the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 to earn a ticket to Sunday’s final against Rafael Nadal. Nadal advanced to the final earlier Friday after his semifinal opponent, Alexander Zverev, retired early with a right ankle injury.
The protester — who reportedly had a valid ticket to the event — is part of a climate activist group called Derniere Renovation, which translates to Last Renovation. She wore a white T-shirt with the words “We have 1028 days left” written in black.
This wasn’t the only marquee sporting event interrupted by a protestor of late. In Game 1 of the first-round NBA playoffs series between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies, an animal rights activist wearing a shirt that read “Glen Taylor Roasts Animals Alive” chained herself to the basket sanction. Glen Taylor, the Timberwolves’ owner, owns a factory farm in Iowa that saw a mass killing of chickens due to a bird flu outbreak earlier this year.