Protest stops play during U.S. Open semi-final match between Gauff, Muchová


Karolina Muchova of Czech Republic and Coco Gauff of the United States walk to their benches during their Women’s Singles Semifinal match on Day Eleven of the 2023 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 07, 2023 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

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Play between Coco Gauff and Karolína Muchová during a U.S. Open match was stopped Thursday after an environmental protester “glued his feet to the cement floor,” an announcer said.

The match between Gauff, of the United States, and Muchová, of Czechia, was delayed for around 40 minutes.

There were three environmental protesters in all in an upper area, Stacey Allaster, tournament director, said in an interview during coverage of the sporting event.

Two of those protesters left quietly without incident, she said.

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

Gauff and Muchová took a seat during the delay. An announcer described it as a protest in the “far reaches” of the stadium.

The match between the two players was at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, which has 24,000 seats.

“NYPD are in the process of resolving a fan disturbance. Play will resume as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience,” U.S. Open Tennis tweeted.

The protester was removed, and play has resumed.

Police said the incident happened shortly after 8 p.m., and an investigation is ongoing. A person was taken into custody without incident, police said, but their name was not immediately released.

“We know in these large events, environmental protesters use the platform,” Allaster said. “Certainly, security will be resuming, along with NYPD, to see what else we can do to prevent it in the future.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.