‘Why on my court?’ Protester ruins Aussie Wimbledon player’s dream
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Australia’s Daria Saville was heading for a first-round victory at Wimbledon when an elderly protester stormed the court.
The protester, who is a member of the Just Stop Oil group, threw puzzle pieces and confetti on the court.
While they were quickly hauled away by security and given medical treatment on the side of the court, the disruption couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Aussie.
After Saville and her opponent Britain’s Katie Boulter, cleaned up the court, Boulter went on to win the next five points to take the first set, before claiming victory with comfortable straight sets (7-6, 6-2).
In the post-match interview, Saville admitted the interruption rocked her confidence.
“These were the toughest circumstances I have had to deal with, I thought I would help pick up the pieces: it was nice to focus on picking up the pieces rather than stewing on ‘what I am going to play next?’ Or ‘how to play the next point’,’’ she said.
“It was. I was like ‘Oh, my God, why on my court out of all of them?’ and I’m the worst with being able to refocus.”
Boulter, on the other hand, seemed unfazed by the interruption.
“I heard the crowd before I saw anything,” she said.
“Then I realised what it was because I saw it in the previous match. It was a little bit of a shock to the system.
“I think we both handled it really well. It’s a really unfortunate situation for everyone. I wouldn’t say I felt in danger. I was quite far away from it. I was walking the opposite side. I have faith in the system that they’ve got enough security in place.”
With Storm Hunter out on the first day, Saville's defeat means there are no more Australian women left in the singles draw.
This wasn’t the first time protestors had interrupted a game at this year’s Wimbledon.
Earlier that day, protesters from the same group disrupted a match between Sho Shimabukuro and Grigor Dimitrov.
They threw orange-coloured confetti and jigsaw pieces on the court before sitting on the grass.
Two men and a woman wearing ‘Just Stop Oil’ t-shirts were later arrested.