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Madison Keys and Sorana Cirstea’s Italian Open match put on hold amid climate protest

Madison Keys and Sorana Cirstea’s Italian Open match put on hold amid climate protest

The last-16 tie between Madison Keys and Sorana Cirstea at the Italian Open was interrupted by climate protestors.

It was one of two matches at the Rome event were suspended following a demonstration, with a doubles match in which Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin were facing Marcelo Arevalo and Mate Pavic also put on hold.

American Keys was leading 6-2, 3-1 when two activists wearing orange vests ran on to the court and threw confetti.

Others glued themselves to the stand before police and firefighters arrived.

The protesters were taken away before the match resumed and Keys beat Romanian Cirstea 6-2, 6-1.

Similar protests led to a temporary pause on the doubles match on court 12.

Meanwhile, Britain's Cameron Norrie was knocked out by Stefanos Tsitsipas in the tournament.

Norrie improved in the second set when he recovered from being broken but Tsitsipas won 6-2, 7-6, (7-1) to progress to the last 16.

The Greek said: “My patience and determination in the tie-break, trying to hang in there and make as many balls as I could and make as many balls as deep as possible so I didn’t have to defend much, was something that gave me the 7-1 in the tie-break.

“That was a relief. It was getting really close and the match was played in a few small details.”

Other matches saw Naomi Osaka lose 6-2, 6-3 to Zheng Qinwen in the last 16 in the women’s tournament.

Qinwen, who was the Australian Open runner-up in January, racked up seven straight games from 2-1 down in the first set.

She completed victory in 84 minutes against Osaka, who was making her first appearance at the tournament since 2021.

Qinwen will go on to play Coco Gauff or Paula Badosa in the quarter-finals.

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