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Climate protesters interrupt Italian Open matches, throwing confetti on the court and gluing themselves to stands

Climate protesters interrupted two matches at the Italian Open on Monday, throwing confetti onto the court and gluing themselves to the stands, organizers said.

US player Madison Keys’ last-16 clash with Sorana Cîrstea was delayed after protesters came on the court midway through the second set, organizers said, with both players going back to the locker rooms.

The protesters, wearing orange vests, sat on the playing surface before security staff removed them. In footage of the event, fans could be heard voicing their displeasure as the protesters ran onto court.

Other protesters glued themselves to the stands, organizers said in a statement.

“With the audience furious against the protesters, police officers and firefighters also arrived,” the statement read.

Keys went on to beat Cîrstea 6-2 6-1 and advance to the quarterfinals, where she will face world No. 1 Iga Świątek.

Protesters caused a stir in the stands at the Italian Open. - Dan Istitene/Getty Images
Protesters caused a stir in the stands at the Italian Open. - Dan Istitene/Getty Images

At the same time, similar events were unfolding at a doubles match on Court 12, where Santiago González and Édouard Roger-Vasselin were facing Marcelo Arévalo and Mate Pavić.

After the protesters were removed and the match resumed, Arévalo and Pavić won 6-1 6-2.

The protest group, Ultima Generazione (Last Generation), posted a video on social media taking credit for the protests, saying they wanted to “tirelessly reiterate that the climate and social crisis is here and that intervention is needed as soon as possible.”

In the video, protesters at the Italian Open can be heard saying: “We don’t have any more water. We are in an emergency. You have to do something …”

According to the Italian Open organizers, Ultima Generazione were in Rome to discuss “some proposals” and “had already staged several protests.”

“The request from the environmentalists of Ultima Generazione is for a reparations fund for climate disasters,” the statement added.

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