Protestors halted Coco Gauff’s US Open semi-final against Karolina Machova, as scenes of chaos ensued inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium. Three protestors wearing ‘End Fossil Fuels’ T-shirts stood up and began a chant, suspending play.
With Gauff 6-4, 1-0 up in her clash, a disturbance began in the upper stands of the Arthur Ashe Stadium. It soon became clear three protestors were chanting loudly, refusing to stop until the play had itself.
Machova was unable to serve such was the volume of their shouting. A steward was seen approaching them early on, asking them to stop but he was simply ignored.
With the protestors refusing to quit the crowd soon turned on them. Chants of ‘Kick it out’ soon echoed around Arthur Ashe but the protestors continued.
Machova initially took advantage of the stoppage to seek medical assistance. She soon then grabbed her bags and walked off court. Gauff’s team urged her to stay on the court and keep warm as she described the situati. But as the commotion continued she too packed up and left to an exercise room.
“They said they’re on the phone negotiating,” Gauff said on her way to the tunnel. “Like this is a hostage situation.”
Two of the protestors were phsyically removed by security, but one still remained. Soon, eight NYPD officers surrounded the lone protestor in the upper deck, cuffed his wrists and led him out of the stands.
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