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US Open 2023: Protesters interrupt Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova semi-final

Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova leaving the court
Coco Gauff (left) and Karolina Muchova were in the second set of their US Open semi-final when the match was suspended
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 28 August-10 September
Coverage: Daily live text and radio commentaries across the BBC Sport website, app, BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra

Climate protesters interrupted the US Open semi-final between Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova for 49 minutes, with one gluing their feet to the floor.

Four people stood chanting for the end of fossil fuels in the Arthur Ashe Stadium upper tier before the second game of the second set.

Security escorted three out but it took longer to the remove the fourth.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) said all four were in New York Police Department (NYPD) custody.

“The fourth protester affixed their bare feet to the floor of the seating bowl,” the USTA said in a statement.

“Due to the nature of this action, NYPD and medical personnel were needed in order to safely remove this individual from the stadium.”

Play stopped at 20:05 local time in New York when American sixth seed Gauff was leading 6-4 1-0 when the incident happened.

While the players waited, Czech 10th seed Muchova received some medical treatment and Gauff practised serves.

Gauff, who went on to win 6-4 7-5 after a thrilling end to the match, told ESPN she had predicted there might be an interruption at Flushing Meadows this weekend.

“The crazy thing is that I told myself: ‘I bet there is going to be a climate change protest in the final’. I didn’t think it would be in the semi-final,” she said.

“Immediately when it happened I told the ref it was a protest.

“I felt like something was going to happen this weekend because they did it at the French Open, they did it at Wimbledon.

“So I was like, ‘Nothing has happened at the US Open yet’. I was thinking the trend will continue.”

Members of the crowd voiced their frustration at the stoppage and directed chants of “kick them out” towards the protesters.

Eventually, the players were instructed to leave court and head to the locker room as security staff and NYPD officers tried to resolve the situation.

“Two of them [protesters] were removed, they quietly left without further protest,” US Open tournament director Stacey Allaster told ESPN.

“When security got there, they found that one of the protesters had physically glued themselves in their bare feet to the cement floor.”

The protesters were wearing T-shirts with the logo of the Extinction Rebellion protest group and bearing the slogan ‘End Fossil Fuels’.

Earlier this year, Just Stop Oil protesters interrupted play at Wimbledon by throwing orange-coloured confetti and jigsaw pieces on to court 18.

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