Climate change protestors disrupt Coco Gauff, Karolina Muchova US Open semifinal

Climate change protestors disrupt Coco Gauff, Karolina Muchova US Open semifinal


A lengthy climate change protest disrupted the 2023 US Open semifinal between Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova at 6-4, 1-0 on Thursday evening.


Climate change protestors disrupt Coco Gauff, Karolina Muchova US Open semifinal

Gauff, the No. 6 seed, had just taken the first set from No. 10-seeded Muchova and won the first game of the second when three people in the upper deck of Arthur Ashe Stadium stood up and interrupted play. The delay began at 8:05 EDT.

One protester superglued his feet to the ground.

The US Open released a statement following the conclusion of the incident:

“Following the first game of the second set in the Gauff-Muchova match, play was halted due to a fan-related incident. The fan in question affixed himself to the floor and due to the nature of this action, medical professionals, NYPD and security personnel were needed in order to resolve the issue and remove the fan from the stands.”

US Open security attempted to disband the protestors, two of whom left quietly and “without incident,” according to Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive of Professional Tennis at the USTA. But the delay lasted a total 50 minutes, time in which Muchova took a medical timeout before both players eventually took the opportunity to leave court while the issue was resolved—and the protestor’s feet were unglued so he could be escorted out by a posse from the NYPD.

Brad Gilbert, co-coach of Gauff, called the situation a “joke,” while co-coach Pere Riba described it as “unbelievable” in conversation with their pupil from the stands.

Gauff and Muchova will be given a three-minute warm-up upon the resumption of play.

This isn’t the first climate change protest to occur during a tennis match in 2023: the group “Just Stop Oil” interrupted multiple matches at Wimbledon earlier this summer, throwing orange confetti pieces onto Court 18. A month later, a similar protest occurred at the Mubadala Citi DC Open in a match between Taylor Fritz and Andy Murray.

Another environmental activist interrupted play at Roland Garros last spring, tying herself to the netpost.

Ironically, climate change has indeed been a focus in the second week of the tournament as a heat wave raised concerns about player safety during Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev’s quarterfinal, during which the former revealed he had difficulty seeing the ball after the first set due to the sweltering conditions.

On court during the match, Medvedev told the camera, “One player is gonna die [from these conditions], and they’ll see.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here