Coco Gauff never wavered. Not when a big lead in the first set evaporated. Not when match point after match point went by the wayside. And not, most distracting of all, when her US Open semifinal against Karolina Muchova was interrupted for 50 minutes Thursday night by environmental activists — one of whom glued his bare feet to the concrete floor in the stands.
Gauff, 19, reached her first final at Flushing Meadows by defeating Muchova 6-4, 7-5 on what was anything but an ordinary evening.
It’s been rather obvious for quite some time that Gauff is no ordinary teenager. Now she is one win away from becoming a Grand Slam champion.
The first women’s singles semifinal between home favourite Coco Gauff and Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova at the ongoing US Open was interrupted by anti-fossil fuel activists during the second set on Thursday.
The interruption took place when Muchova, trailing 4-6, 0-1, was about to serve during the second set. Three activists in the upper tiers stood up and began chanting “End fossil fuels.”
Both Gauff and Muchova headed towards the locker room as the organisers tried to solve the situation. One of the protestors had glued his feet to the floor.
The spectators jeered the protestors with chants of “Kick them out.”
Later, the organisers posted on X, formerly Twitter, “NYPD are in the process of resolving a fan disturbance. Play will resume as soon as possible.”
Similarly, interruptions took place at other sports events in recent months. “Just Stop Oil” protestors were arrested for interrupting play with confetti and orange powder at events such as Wimbledon, The Open, the Ashes Test at Lord’s between England and Australia and the World Snooker Championships.
In a further development, the organisers released a statement, stating, “Following the first game of the second set in the Gauff-Muchova match, the play was halted due to a protest conducted by four spectators. Three of the four protesters were escorted out of the stadium without further incident. The fourth protester affixed their bare feet to the floor of the seating bowl. Due to the nature of this action, NYPD and medical personnel were needed in order to safely remove this individual from the stadium. The four protesters were taken into NYPD custody. In total, 49 minutes elapsed before play resumed”