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U.S. Open protesters charged with criminal trespass after disrupting match


Police said the two men were arrested and charged on Thursday and were held at the 110 Precinct. 

The match between Coco Gauff, of the U.S., and Karolína Muchová, of Czechia, was delayed for nearly 50 minutes, the U.S. Tennis Association said. Both players took their seats during the delay and play resumed after the protesters were removed. 

Gauff won the match to advance to the final on Saturday, where she will face Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Extinction Rebellion, an environmental activist group, took credit for the protest and used the slogan “no tennis on a dead planet” to call for an end to fossil fuels.

There were four protesters in all, the U.S. Tennis Association said in a statement Thursday night. Three were removed and escorted out of the stadium while the fourth “affixed their bare feet to the floor of the seating bowl.”

Stacey Allaster, the tournament director, said in an interview that there was a group of environmental protesters in an upper area of the stadium.

“When security got there, they found that one of the protesters had physically glued themselves in their bare feet to the cement floor,” Allaster said

The protest at the tennis tournament follows several protests by environmental activist groups, including one where protesters recently blocked the route to the Burning Man festival in Nevada. Others have recently staged protests targeting famous works of art.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.