The French Open semifinal between Casper Ruud and Marin Cilic was interrupted by an environmental activist. She was wearing a T-shirt with the message “We have 1028 days left” by attaching herself to the net with metal wires and glue and kneeling on the court.
Due to this the game was delayed for 13 minutes when Ruud was serving in the third set while leading 3-6, 6-4, 4-1, 15-all at Court Philippe Chatrier.
“The young woman, of French nationality, entered the grounds with a valid ticket early in the day,” the French Tennis Federation said in a statement.
Ruud finished off his win in four sets to reach his first Grand Slam final. He will face 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal for the title on Sunday.
The protester remained on the court for several minutes before four security guards approached her, detached her from the net and eventually carried 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.”
Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo looked on from near the entrance to the court and both players we escorted to the locker room during the episode.
“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.”
Eventually, Ruud and Cilic returned and were given three minutes to warmup before resuming their semifinal.
Cilic said the disruption did not affect his level of play.
Other such episodes involving people interrupting matches at Court Philippe Chatrier are as follows:
2013 men's final - a topless man carrying a fiery flare jumped onto the court
2009 final - a man went up to Roger Federer and tried to put a hat on his head
2003 final - a male streaker hurdled the net.
(Inputs from PTI)