Updated Sep 7, 2023 - Sports

Climate protest delays Coco Gauff's U.S. Open semifinal win

 USA's Coco Gauff sits as the match is delayed by a protestor in the crowd during the US Open tennis tournament women's singles semi-finals match against Czech Republic's Karolina Muchova at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City, on September 7, 2023.

American Coco Gauff sits as her U.S. Open semifinal match against Czech Republic's Karolina Muchova match is delayed by protesters in the crowd in New York City on Thursday, before she advances to her first-ever U.S. Open final. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Coco Gauff's winning U.S. Open semifinal match against Karolina Muchova was delayed for some 45 minutes due to a climate protest in the stands of New York City's Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday.

Driving the news: One of the four environmental protesters "glued his bare feet" to the floor in the first game of the second set, per the New York Times. Extinction Rebellion activists said they were behind the protest that they claimed was a prelude to Climate Week NYC, which begins Sept. 17.

A screenshot of a U.S. Open Tennis tweet, saying: "NYPD are in the process of resolving a fan disturbance. Play will resume as soon as possible.  Thank you for your patience."
Photo: U.S. Open Tennis/X

State of play: The U.S. Tennis Association said in a statement Thursday night that four protesters had been taken into custody following the demonstration.

  • "Three of the four protesters were escorted out of the stadium without further incident," the U.S. Tennis Association said the statement.
  • "The fourth protester affixed their bare feet to the floor of the seating bowl," it added. "Due to the nature of this action, NYPD and medical personnel were needed in order to safely remove this individual from the stadium."

What they're saying: "This protest is a prelude to the 'Biden: End Fossil Fuels' mass march scheduled to take place in New York City" on Sept. 17, per a statement from Extinction Rebellion Thursday night.

  • The statement said the protest was designed to draw attention to "the greatest emergency of our time," disrupting the grand slam tennis event in "the same way a rain delay would."
  • The activists said there is "no tennis on a dead planet" and demanded an end to fossil fuels use, per the statement.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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