French Open final marred by protest as spectator runs on wielding a flare

The masked man was brought down by security before he reached the players in the second set at Roland Garros in Paris

Brought down: The activist is arrested after invading the court

Brought down: The activist is arrested after invading the court    Getty Images


A protester wielding a flare disrupted this afternoon’s French Open final between Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer – bringing the event’s security under scrutiny.

The spectator ran onto the court with Nadal 6-3 5-2 up as the Spaniard was about to serve.

Security staff  brought the masked man down and play resumed shortly afterwards.

In 1993, Monica Seles was stabbed in the shoulder by a spectator during a match against Steffi Graf in Hamburg – forcing the Yugoslav out of action for two years.

Security at major finals has been ramped up since.

Earlier in the match, play was interrupted when protesters high in the stands began chanting.

‘France tramples on children’s rights’, read the banner, and it was believed the protests were co-ordinated by protesters opposed to gay marriage.

There were also protests on Roland Garros’ second court, Suzanne Lenglen, where a group of men also wearing shorts and no shirts held up flares and a banner calling on President Francois Hollande to resign.

Nadal was already one set up and soon after made it two, but the focus of both players appeared to be affected after the incident.

An anti gay-marriage activist is arrested after invading the court

Protest: Security bring the masked man down Getty Images

The Spaniard went on to complete an eighth French Open title having won in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012.