Coco Gauff advances to her first US Open final amid climate protest interruption
Posted : 08 September 2023
Nineteen-year-old American tennis sensation Coco Gauff earned her spot in her first-ever US Open singles final with a hard-fought victory over Karolina Muchova. The semi-final was marred by climate protesters, causing a 49-minute disruption.
Gauff's 6-4, 7-5 win secured her a place in the final, where she will face the second seed, Aryna Sabalenka. During the match, four protesters advocating for the end of fossil fuels interrupted play. Security removed three of them, but the fourth took longer to remove, with chants from the crowd urging their expulsion. All four protesters were taken into custody by the New York Police Department, as confirmed by the United States Tennis Association.
In the other semi-final, Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka staged a remarkable comeback against Madison Keys, winning 0-6, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (10-5) to deny an all-American final.
This will be the sixth-seeded Gauff's second attempt to win a Grand Slam singles final, having been the runner-up to Poland's Iga Swiatek at the 2022 French Open.
Gauff had to display her mental strength and determination to secure the victory, especially after missing a match point while serving at 5-4. However, she eventually broke the Czech 10th seed Muchova to seal the win after an intense 40-shot rally, earning her sixth match point. Gauff's triumphant celebration included raising her fist and making a heart sign to acknowledge the support from the home crowd.
In her on-court interview, Gauff expressed her gratitude for the enthusiastic crowd, saying, "Some of those points it was so loud, I don't know if my ears will be OK. Please be louder - this is crazy. I grew up watching this tournament; it feels so special. But the job is not done."