Laver Cup: Protester sets himself on fire at farewell to Roger Federer tennis tournament

An apparent protester at the Laver Cup, a tennis tournament being held in London, shocked spectators by rushing onto the pitch and setting himself on fire.

The incident took place at London’s O2 Arena during a match between Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas and Argentina’s Diego Schwartzmen.

During the switchover after Tsisipas won the first set 6-2, a man invaded the field wearing a T-shirt that read “End UK Private Jets”.

Videos taken by multiple onlookers show the man storming onto the field with a lighter in hand, before sitting down by the net, pouring liquid onto his right arm and setting it on fire. The clips show flames creeping down his arm before he began to shake it and put out the fire.

Meanwhile, some of the liquid splashed onto the field and a small fire started on the tarmac, causing a guard to extinguish the flames with his jacket as the man was dragged from the field.

“It came out of nowhere. I have no idea what it’s all about. I’ve never seen an incident like this on the pitch, so I hope he’s okay,” said Tsitsipas, who beat Schwartzman.

The protester is believed to represent Sacrifice for Survival, a climate emergency protest initiative in which activists previously set themselves on fire every day with the aim of halting flights between sites in the UK, The Guardian reports.

The man is believed to have suffered no serious injuries.

The incident happened just hours before Roger Federer will play his last competitive tennis match on the court.

The Laver Cup is a men’s tournament with teams representing Europe against the rest of the world. Europe has won all four previous editions of the event.

This year’s tournament is the last Swiss champion Roger Federer to play before retiring from the sport, giving it added significance.

He will team up with Rafael Nadal in a doubles match for the last game of his historic career.

The Laver Cup has featured numerous players who have come to the UK on a private jet during its pre-event promotions, including Federer and Novak Djokovic.

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