Coco Gauff beats Muchova to reach US Open final after climate protesters disrupt match


19-year-old American Coco Gauff beat Karolina Muchova 6-4 7-5 to reach her first U.S. Open final on Thursday after the match was halted for nearly an hour when an environmental activist glued his feet to the floor of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Gauff, who had beaten Muchova in the Cincinnati final last month to claim the biggest title of her career, fed off the energy of the home crowd to get past the Czech once again.

“Some of those points, it was so loud and I don’t know if my ears are going to be okay,” Gauff said. “I grew up watching this tournament so much so it means a lot to me to be in the final. A lot to celebrate but the job is not done.”

Gauff, the sixth seed, will next face Aryna Sabalenka, who came from behind to beat Madison Keys 0-6, 7-6, 7-6.

The match was delayed by roughly 50 minutes early in the second set due to a protest by four spectators.

The USTA said three of the four were escorted out of the stadium without incident but a fourth “affixed their bare feet to the floor of the seating bowl”.

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