In a scary moment during the men’s French Open final on Sunday, a shirtless demonstrator wearing a mask ran onto Court Philippe Chatrier during play wielding a lit flare.
The man ran close to Rafael Nadal’s chair after a changeover with Nadal set to serve for the second set at 5-1 against David Ferrer. Nadal, who was standing near the baseline at the time, ran immediately for the court exit when he saw the flames but stopped when security corralled the man and tackled him into the court entrance/exit area. The man was taken off court, and the flames were put out by a fire extinguisher before play resumed. When it did, both men, who may have been rattled by the interruption, traded breaks of serve to end the set.
Here’s a look from another angle:
Other mask-wearing protesters unfurled a banner over Court Suzanne Lenglen calling for the resignation of French President Francois Hollande.
Protests from the upper deck of Court Philippe Chatrier halted play earlier in the match as well, when Ferrer served at 1-4 in the second set, though it’s unclear if they were connected to the masked man on court.
The Roland Garros spectator guide reads, “Spectators are prohibited from bringing any sealed bottles (glass or plastic) larger than one litre, aluminum cans, or any sharp or blunt objects that could serve as projectiles, in to the Grounds. In addition, entry onto the site will be denied to anyone in possession of any object that can be considered a weapon or endanger public safety.”
Here are more images: