Sports, Tennis

Medvedev, Swiatek cruise as climate protesters disrupt Wimbledon

By Reuters
Published : 07 Jul 2023 08:38 PM | Updated : 07 Jul 2023 08:38 PM

Daniil Medvedev quelled the challenge of wildcard Arthur Fery and Marta Kostyuk fought back to upset Maria Sakkari and storm into the Wimbledon second round on a rainy Wednesday when two matches were disrupted by protesters.

Women's top seed Iga Swiatek outclassed Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2, 6-0 and Daria Kasatkina thumped Jodie Burrage 6-0, 6-2 to reach the third round before organisers worked to clear the backlog of first-round matches.

That was not the only headache for the All England Club as the threat of protests by Just Stop Oil campaigners materialised and play was twice interrupted during matches on Court 18.

The first incident involved two protesters running on to the lawn holding boxes marked as 1,000-piece jigsaws of Centre Court before sprinkling the contents, halting play between Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Japan's Sho Shimabukuro.

Security staff quickly removed the individuals and the crowd booed them off. The later match between Britain's Katie Boulter and Australian Daria Saville was also halted by a similar incident.

"Following an incident on Court 18, two individuals have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage and these individuals have now been removed from the Grounds," organisers said after the first incident.

The British crowd was far kinder to Medvedev who returned to Wimbledon after the lifting of last year's ban on Russian and Belarusian players, saying after his 7-5 6-4 6-3 victory over Briton Fery that he did not expect the warm reception.

"I was pretty nervous, I didn't get to play yesterday so I'm really happy to be back," Medvedev said.

"Thank you for the nice welcome, especially against Arthur, a British guy. It was amazing as I didn't know what reception I would get and it was unbelievable.

Earlier, Kostyuk battled from a set down and overcame three rain interruptions to beat eighth seed Sakkari 0-6 7-5 6-2.

She became only the third women's player to beat a top-10 seed at Wimbledon in the Open Era after losing the first set 6-0.

American world number 10 Frances Tiafoe saw off China's Wimbledon debutant Wu Yibing 7-6(4) 6-3 6-4 before compatriot Taylor Fritz completed a 6-4 2-6 4-6 7-5 6-3 win over Yannick Hanfmann.