Protesters disrupted play at the US Open with Coco Gauff leading. After a 49-minute delay, it was the American who made it through to Saturday’s final against Aryna Sabalenka.
Gauff reached her first US Open final after her match against Karolina Muchova in the quarterfinals was postponed for 49 minutes due to protesters.
Coco Gauff defeated Karolina Muchova to advance to the US Open women’s final on Saturday, but only after a 45-minute delay caused by protesters against climate change on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
After the first game of the second set, three people started shouting and wearing T-shirts with the words “fossil fuels,” which caused play to be stopped.
While security attempted to resolve the situation, Gauff and Czech 10th seed Muchova initially remained on the court for approximately 10 minutes. However, they eventually left with the American teenager leading 6-4 1-0.
When they came back, it was the great American hope, 19 years old Gauff, who won her first US Open final, 6-4, 7-5, on her sixth match point.
Gauff paid Naomi Osaka a tribute and announced that she would watch some anime to celebrate her victory.
“Some of those points, it was so loud, and I don’t know if my ears are going to be OK,” said Gauff. “Thank you guys this is crazy.
“I grew up watching this tournament so it means a lot to be in the final. But the job is not done, so hopefully you can back me on Saturday.”
Gauff will come face to face with the new world No 1 Aryna Sabalenka after the Belarusian struggled back from being bageled in the first set to overcome Madison Keys 0-6 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (10-5) following two hours and 32 minutes in a semi-final.
After a spectacular 40-shot rally, Gauff won a sixth match point and advanced to her first US Open final. She won the first set and led 1-0 in the second before protesters stopped play for over 45 minutes.
At the point when the two players returned they essentially appeared to be ready to put the occurrence behind them when the match continued.
During the break, Muchova received treatment for what appeared to be an abdominal injury.
In the subsequent game, the Czech 10th seed saved five match points on her own and one on the serve of Gauff.
However, Muchova went long on her sixth attempt, and the 19-year-old eventually won the match to reach her second Grand Slam final.
Gauff, who lost the 2022 French Open final to Iga Swiatek, will now be hoping to become the fourth American woman to win the US Open 100 years after Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens.
When Gauff was leading by a set and holding serve to begin the second set, there was a sudden disturbance in the upper bowl of Arthur Ashe Stadium, and people started shouting, which stopped play.
The slogan “End Fossil Fuels” appeared on three protesters’ shirts in photographs of the scene.
Security quickly run into the area around the disruption as players looked into the stands. While one protester glued his feet to the ground, television showed more than a dozen police officers in the area.
NYPD and medical personnel were required to safely remove this ‘noisy’ person from the stadium because of the nature of the act. The NYPD took custody of the four protesters.
There were a total of 49 minutes before play resumed.
“I thought we played a tie-break up to seven. I was all over the place. Thanks team for reminding me it’s up to 10.
“She played incredible tennis, another level. Somehow, I don’t know how actually I turned around this match. Being in the final of the US Open for the first time means a lot.”