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Flare-wielding protestor briefly interrupts French Open final

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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.

French Open final protest

(Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

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:

(Petr David Josek/AP)

(Petr David Josek/AP)

(David Vincent/AP)

(David Vincent/AP)

(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(Julian Finney/Getty Images)

(Julian Finney/Getty Images)

(Michel Spingler/AP)

(Michel Spingler/AP)

(David Vincent/AP)

(David Vincent/AP)

(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

ZACCARDI: Protests mar Nadal’s stand-alone eighth French Open title

  • Published On Jun 09, 2013
  • 7 comments
    shelley
    shelley

    Credit to that security guard who reacted so quickly and manhandled the idiot off the court in pretty short order. And how amazing is Rafa who must have been pretty shaken up but still took a minute to shake the security guard's hand.

    Fenris
    Fenris

    Meme in the making.

    djm4672
    djm4672

    Hope they beat the crap out of that moron. Much better and safer ways to get your message across. Plus might get more sympathy.  When will people figure out that inconveniencing the pubic with your protest defeats your purpose.

    barefeethusky
    barefeethusky

    "though it’s unclear if they were connected to the masked man on court"

    Dude on court was wearing same mask as the ones with Hollande sign and had "Kids Right" written on his stomach which matches what the other sign says.  Um, what exactly is unclear about that???

    clu
    clu

    @shelley Shaken up?  Watch it again, he shoves the security guy away initially.  Probably shook his hand as an apology.  What was a naked guy with no muscle gonna to do Nadal?  He'd have him eating his own flare in under five seconds...

    SingleAlley
    SingleAlley

    The write was referring to the man and the woman without masks.

    nardac
    nardac

    @SingleAlley It's all referencing the same thing : the recently passed law allowing gay marriage, and more importantly, the rights of the children of gay parents to their inheritance. Those who protested so ungraciously against this law today at Roland-Garros are not only idiotic; they are a fine example of how ignorance works against individual rights.