When the climate protesters created a 45-minute delay during Coco Gauff’s US Open semifinal match against Karolina Muchová, she said she couldn’t “really get upset” with them.
Gauff eventually won the match 6-4, 7-5, securing her spot in her second grand slam final. The US Open referred to it as a “fan-related” incident at Arthur Ashe Stadium, explaining that one attendee had “affixed himself to the floor,” requiring the involvement of medical professionals, NYPD, and security personnel to address the situation and remove the fan from the stands.
During the removal of the attendee who was shouting about “environmental issues,” fans inside the stadium cheered. There were four protesters involved in the incident, and the US Tennis Association stated that three of them were escorted out of the stadium without further issues.
Coco Gauff later shared her perspective, recognizing such moments as defining in history. She expressed her belief in climate change but admitted that she wasn’t entirely sure about the protesters’ specific message. Gauff emphasized the importance of environmental concerns and mentioned that tournaments are taking steps to improve their environmental impact. She also honestly admitted that she would have preferred such a disruption not to happen during her match, but accepted the situation as it unfolded, saying, “It is what it is.”
During the delay caused by the climate protesters, both Coco Gauff and Karolína Muchová left the court as the protesters were escorted out of the stadium.
Climate protesters had also disrupted last year’s French Open and earlier matches at Wimbledon this year, where they scattered orange confetti and jigsaw puzzle pieces on the grass playing surface.
Gauff commented on the situation, mentioning that she had anticipated something like this might happen during the tournament, given similar incidents at previous events. She clarified that she wasn’t angry with the protesters, recognizing that they were expressing their beliefs peacefully. While she wished the disruption hadn’t occurred when she was leading 6-4, 1-0 and wanted to maintain momentum, she understood their need to be heard.
Coco Gauff, the youngest woman to reach the US Open final since Serena Williams in 1999, is set to face Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in her quest to win her first grand slam title.