American Coco Gauff beat Karolina Muchova 6-4 7-5 to reach her first U.S. Open final 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 Belarusian and second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals after the latter defeated her compatriot Madison Keys.
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”.
Gauff swept the first three games of the opening set and broke her opponent again in the sixth.
Muchova, this year’s Roland Garros runner-up, capitalized on some mistakes by the 19-year-old and broke straight back in the seventh, raising her level from there to break Gauff again in the ninth.
The Czech’s good work went to waste, however, as she committed a trio of unforced errors in the 10th game, allowing Gauff to break to love and take the set.
After a routine hold by Gauff to open the second set, shouts were heard from high up in the stands and both players sat on their benches as security staff members quickly moved to quell the disruption.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.