Coco Gauff defeated Karolna Muchová of the Czech Republic to go to her second major slam final in a match that was disrupted by climate protesters at the US Open on Thursday.
The 19-year-old Gauff defeated Muchová 6-4, 7-5 to advance to Saturday’s championship match, where she will play Aryna Sabalenka. Gauff is now the youngest woman to reach the US Open final since Serena Williams in 1999.
The Belarusian defeated American Madison Keys with a stunning comeback to win 0-6 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (10-5) in the latter game on Friday.
Gauff, who was facing Muchová in front of a boisterous home crowd, played with poise and fortitude, finally winning the match on her sixth match point.
Prior to that, she survived the longest rally of the tournament thus far, a 40-shot rally, to set up the next point.
Prior to that, she survived the longest rally of the tournament thus far, a 40-shot rally, to set up the pivotal match point after failing to serve out the match when she was up 5-4 in the second set.
Gauff immediately took a 5-1 lead in the opening set before Muchová, this year’s lost French Open finalist, fought back with two serve breaks.
It took the American 42 minutes to win the following game, her third break of the match, and take the first set.
The start of the second act was then delayed significantly due to audience members who were protesting climate change.
Arthur Ashe Stadium was the scene of a “fan-related” incident, according to the tournament organizers, in which one spectator “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.”
After a 45-minute wait, both players departed the field, and the game eventually began. Gauff took control of the match once it restarted when she broke Muchová’s serve at 4-3, but she had to endure a thrilling conclusion.
She finally secured the victory while hitting the air and cheering with joy when a Muchová backhand eventually strayed long.