A protester threw papers onto an Australian Open court and briefly delayed the fourth-round match between Olympic champion Alexander Zverev and Cameron Norrie of Britain on Monday.
A person wearing a blue shirt and cap and a face mask threw anti-war pamphlets from the stands onto the court behind the baseline during the sixth game of the third set on Margaret Court Arena.
Printed in black on the white pages was the message “Free Palestine” and “While you’re watching tennis bombs are dropping on Gaza.”
Ball kids gathered up the papers and the match continued after a short delay.
Security escorted the protester away.
Zverev won the match 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (3) to advance to a quarterfinal against No. 2-ranked Carlos Alcaraz.
Tennis Australia said two spectators stopped the protester “and we appreciate their actions.”
“Venue security was deployed to detain the individual (and) the individual was subsequently evicted from the event,” organizers said in a statement. “Anyone seeking to disrupt the event — as we saw tonight — will be removed.”
In a statement, Victoria state police said officers were notified that a small group of people threw pamphlets onto Margaret Court Arena, Kia Arena and near the entrance to the tournament site.
Police said two women, aged 35 and 36, were detained but released without charge.
A group behind the protest said pro-Palestinian activists stopped play on multiple courts by dropping the pamphlets and playing loud audio of bombs dropping in Gaza.
The Israel-Hamas war began with Hamas’ attack in southern Israel on Oct. 7.
Palestinian terrorists killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took about 250 hostages back to Gaza.
The Palestinian death toll from the war has soared past 25,000, the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip said Sunday,