Coco Gauff has reached her first US Open final after chaotic scenes as protesters held up her semi-final for almost an hour. Check out protest
Coco Gauff vs Karolina Muchova semi-final halted by protestors.
Coco Gauff’s U.S. Open semifinal victory over Karolina Muchova was delayed by 50 minutes because of a disruption by four environmental activists in the Arthur Ashe Stadium stands on Thursday night. One protester glued his bare feet to the concrete floor.
Gauff was leading 1-0 in the second set when play was halted. She would go on to win 6-4, 7-5.
“I always speak about preaching about what you feel and what you believe in. It was done in a peaceful way, so I can’t get too mad at it. Obviously I don’t want it to happen when I’m winning up 6-4, 1-0, and I wanted the momentum to keep going,” said Gauff, a 19-year-old from Florida. “But hey, if that’s what they felt they needed to do to get their voices heard, I can’t really get upset at it.”
Security guards and, later, more than a half-dozen police officers went over to confront the protesters, who were wearing shirts that read, “End Fossil Fuels.”
The U.S. Tennis Association said three of the protesters were escorted out of the stadium without further incident, but it took longer to remove the person who stuck his feet to the ground.
The USTA added that NYPD and medical personnel were needed in order to safely remove that person. All four activists were taken into police custody.
With Coco Gauff protest holding serve to open the second set, a disturbance erupted in the upper bowl of Arthur Ashe Stadium and shouting began, disrupting play.
As players looked into the stands, security flooded into the section around the disturbance. Television showed more than a dozen law enforcement officers in the section. One protester appeared to have glued his feet to the floor.
Players left the court and waited over 49 minutes for play to resume. When the players returned, Gauff toughed out an intense second set t reach only her second grand-slam final.
Just Stop Oil protesters interrupted play at Wimbledon in July, releasing orange ticker-tape mixed with jigsaw puzzle pieces during matches.
Coco gauff protest confused fans, television commentators and the players themselves, who were trying to understand what the group was protesting and why the match had been delayed so long. When play stopped, Gauff, the eventual winner, was leading, 6-4, 1-0. Both players left the court.
As stadium security tried to remove the protesters from the stadium, at least 10 New York City police officers were seen surrounding the disturbance in the loge level.
Chris Widmaier, a spokesman for the United States Tennis Association, which hosts the U.S. Open, said after the match that three of the four protesters were escorted out of the stadium without any issues.
But police officers and medical personnel were brought in to safely remove the fourth protester who had affixed his feet to the cement floor with some sort of product, Widmaier said.