Tennis: Environmental protests stop play at Rome Open

Wearing orange vests, they threw a liquid onto the court and confetti before being removed by security staff

By AFP

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An environmental activist of The Last Generation is removed from the court. — AFP
An environmental activist of The Last Generation is removed from the court. — AFP

Published: Mon 13 May 2024, 8:37 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 May 2024, 8:38 PM

Environmental protestors stopped play at two matches at the Rome Open tennis tournament on Monday after invading courts in the Italian capital.

Activists from climate group Ultima Generazione (Last Generation) burst onto the Pietrangeli court, where American Madison Keys was leading Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 3-1 in the women's last 16.


Wearing orange vests, they threw a liquid onto the court and confetti before being removed by security staff. After a half-hour stoppage to clean the court, Keys to complete her win over Romania's Cirstea 6-2, 6-1.

Two people also burst onto an adjacent court 12, where a men's doubles match was underway and also threw a liquid and confetti.


The stands were evacuated as organisers awaited the arrival of police as, according to a spokesman for the tournament, at least one person had tried to glue their feet to the floor of the stands in order to slow their removal.

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Play resumed in the doubles match not long after 1300 local time (1100 GMT).

In March three Ultima Generazione activists briefly interrupted the Rome marathon before being arrested by police.

The group demands the Italian state create a reparations fund of 20 billion euros ($22 billion) for "all people suffering damage due to climate change".

In recent months their activists have thrown soup, cakes and paint on cultural sites and artworks in museums in shock tactics to spread their message.

Scientists say climate change induced by human activity is increasing the intensity, frequency and length of extreme weather events such as droughts, heatwaves and wildfires.


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