In what is undoubtedly one of the biggest moments of their respective careers, Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova had their highly-anticipated US Open women's semifinal showdown delayed because of climate protestors, per Evening Standard's Matt Majendie.

Early in the second set, screams could be heard from the upper deck of Arthur Ashe Stadium, which forced a stoppage in play. Gauff and Muchova waited around several minutes before retreating back to the locker room area. Many law enforcement officers came in to resolve the situation, quickly removing almost all of the environmental protestors. One glued their feet to the floor, though, causing the bulk of the delay.

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It was over 40 minutes before the players returned to the court for another round of warm-ups. The match officially resumed after an approximate 50-minute pause. Before the commotion, Gauff came out of the gate red-hot and was one the verge of a lopsided 6-1 opening set. Muchova fought back, however, and forced her American opponent to sweat it out a bit. Gauff hung on for the 6-4 clincher and then held in her opening service game of the second set.

Both competitors have reached a Grand Slam final before, but battling it out in front of one of the most electric atmospheres in tennis for a shot at the US Open title is difficult to top. A controversial delay undoubtedly makes rising to such a grand occasion that much more mentally taxing.

Whether or not you agree with the cause, such a disruption is terrible to see. Karolina Muchova has vaulted into the top 10 world rankings after a banner 2023 that saw her reach the French Open Final. Teenage sensation Coco Gauff is striving for incredible history in her home country.

The stage was set, and the tennis was supposed to do all the talking. Hopefully, this significant moment will not be tarnished by an improperly timed protest that only serves to enrage a packed stadium of fans and greatly inconvenience the athletes everyone came to see. Well, almost everyone.