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Watch: Murray vs Fritz tie paused as climate protestors throw balls onto court | Tennis News

For the round of 16 match at the ATP 500 Citi Open that already suffered the consequences of bad weather in Washington, the high-octane clash between Andy Murray and Taylor Fritz was interrupted for more than five minutes on Friday night after a group of “annoying” climate protesters threw large tennis balls with flames printed on them onto the court.

Taylor Fritz beat Andy Murray 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4 in the round of 16 match at Citi Open
Taylor Fritz beat Andy Murray 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4 in the round of 16 match at Citi Open

The incident had happened during the opening set when Murray was about to serve. There were already protestors in the stand during the match with their banners and posters, urging people to stop the use of fossil fuels and fight for climate change, who then threw large balls on the court.

The match was immediately paused and the players were asked to take their seat as the security ushered the protestors out of the court. Murray was left visibly upset at the incident as he smashed his racket on the floor.

“I get they’re protesting, but there’s just got to be a better way to do it,” Fritz told reporters after his 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4 win against Murray. “I don’t understand how people are going to get behind a cause when you’re ruining everyone else’s good time. Like, it doesn’t really make sense to me.”

Climate change protestors have infiltrated tennis venues over the last few weeks with incidents witnessed during Wimbledon last month. They were also present at the Lord’s cricket ground when the 2023 Ashes Test series was going on on London, along with the Premiership Rugby final, the World Snooker Championship, golf’s British Open and the Grand National horse race.

“It’s annoying, obviously, when they do it. It’s ruining everyone’s time. Everyone wants to watch the tennis. I jokingly said, ‘Honestly, this makes me want to go fly on jets more’,” Fritz said with a smile. “I think they’re supporting a good cause, but the way they’re doing it… Who’s going to want to listen when they’re just annoying everybody?”

Winning twice in a day

Bad weather in Washington saw the Murray versus Fritz match get postponed and hence the American, who is coming off a title-winning run in Atlanta last week, had to play twice on the same day. After a come-from-behind win against Murray, he beat Jordan Thompson 6-3, 6-3 to reach the semifinal where he will face Tallon Griekspoor.

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