Coco Gauff reaches the US Open final! The American tennis star beat No. 10 Karolina Muchova 6-4, 7-5 after a 50-minute delay because of anti-fossil fuel protests
- Gauff will play in the final on Saturday and have a chance to win her first Grand Slam
- She previously played in the final of the French Open 2022, but was defeated by Iga Świątek
- DailyMail.com offers the latest international sports news
Coco Gauff has reached her first US Open final, but only after a 50-minute delay caused by environmentalists sitting in the upper deck of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The 19-year-old American won a hard-fought victory over Czech Karolina Muchova (6:4, 7:5) and met the winner of the other semifinal between Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka and Madison Keys of the USA on Thursday.
There hasn’t been an All-American women’s final in Flushing since Keys’ loss to Sloane Stephens in 2017.
For Gauff, Saturday’s game will be her second Grand Slam final. The Florida native reached the final of the 2022 French Open, where she lost to Poland’s Iga Świątek.
Coco Gauff reacts as protesters interrupt her match with Karolina Muchova on Thursday
Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic reacts during a game against Coco Gauff
Protesters from a group called Extinction Rebellion disrupt Thursday’s semifinals
Gauff was leading 6-4, 1-0 when play was stopped at the start of the second set.
Security forces and later more than half a dozen police officers went to confront the three protesters, who were wearing T-shirts that read “Stop fossil fuels.” Two of the activists were escorted out within minutes, but it took longer to remove the person whose feet were stuck on the ground.
Spectators were asked to move away
to clear the way for police, who were cheered on by fans sitting near the section where the disturbance occurred.
One of the protesters, who identified himself only as Ian, said they wanted the US Open to be held accountable because it has sponsors who are large companies whose policies contribute to global warming.
“We’re not trying to harm the athletes in any way.” “We have nothing against the sport, but we’re really trying to bring attention to an issue where there will no longer be tennis for anyone in the world to enjoy can,” he said.
Gauff sat on her bench for a while during the break and ate fruit from a plastic container before getting a few tennis balls and doing a few practice serves. Muchova was briefly visited by a trainer during the break.
Later, both players headed toward the locker room as the delay continued. Gauff sat on a treadmill, a towel draped over her lap as she chatted with members of her team.
It is the latest in a series of protests at sporting events – particularly tennis – linked to fossil fuel use.
In July, two matches at Wimbledon were interrupted when environmental activists jumped from the stands on Court 18 and scattered orange confetti on the lawn.
At a US Open preparatory tournament in Washington last month, about a dozen people were asked to leave the grounds after chanting and putting up signs protesting the use of fossil fuels.