A group of environmental protesters delayed the start of the 2023 US Open semi-finals by almost an hour by literally gluing themselves to the playing surface. To be precise, during the first game of the second set of the semifinal between Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova, a group of four environmentalists burst onto the sidelines, protesting against the use of fossil fuels.
Three of them were stopped in time by Arthur Ashe Stadium security, while one of them managed to glue his feet to the ground with quick-setting glue.
It took 49 minutes to remove the activist from the surface, for the police and rescuers to arrive and to resume the match.
Gauff talked at the rpess conference of her victory over Muchova
Coco Gauff got to her second career Slam final, after losing to Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros last year.
Here are her statements in the post-match press conference: "It was a difficult challenge, especially from an emotional point of view but I think I did a good job staying focused. I am very proud of myself for what I was able to achieve today.
The suspension because of the activists? It was mentally demanding, as it was due to a particular case and above all no one knew how long it would take. We spoke to security and they didn't know what to do either, after 10 minutes I decided to go to the changing rooms, eat something and change.
At the end of the day this is life, things happen and you just have to try to stay calm." The tennis player then talked about her recent results and this being her second final of a Grand Slam tournament: "The whole tournament was a surprise for me, I didn't expect to reach the final even though I'm relieved because I know that there are so many expectations on me.
I didn't think I'd get this result and everything else, this time and these days I'm only focusing on myself, I don't follow or read social media. I finally have the maturity to do this and regardless of how the final goes I'm proud of myself." Then continuing the tennis player declared: "After Wimbledon I didn't expect to do so well on hard courts, but I'm proud of how I turned the season in my favor.
After the defeat at Wimbledon I was worried about everything I needed to improve and I didn't think the results would come. However, I am only aware that I can still improve a lot, but I am happy."