US Open regret penalising Alize Cornet for changing shirt on court

Mae Harvey
August 30, 2018

Drawing one of the largest crowds to a media conference at the tournament this year, she was quick to downplay what had happened to her, saying the umpire was probably just overwhelmed and crediting the US Open for apologizing.

'Fortunately, she was only assessed a warning with no further penalty or fine. Male players, on the other hand, regularly pull their shirts off and switch them on the court when changing ends. We follow WTA proceedures regarding bathroom breaks.

A US Open official was criticized for imposing a sexist double standard when he reprimanded a player who took her shirt off briefly during a heat break.

The umpire, Christian Rask, immediately hit her with a code violation.

According to Women's Tennis Association rules, female players can only change their clothes off court, in a private location.

The decision to punish Cornet for changing on court was wildly rebuked on Twitter, with Judy Murray - mother of 2012 US Open victor Andy Murray - claiming there are double standards at play.

US Open organisers have expressed regret at the warning given to Alize Cornet for changing her top on court at Flushing Meadows.

'Had her fresh shirt on back to front. Officials said all players - regardless of gender - would be able to change their shirts in their chairs on court going forward.

"Changed at back of court".

The WTA, the global organising body for women's tennis, said the decision to issue a code violation was not based on a WTA rule.

While Bethanie Mattek-Sands labelled it "weak", Casey Dellaqua called it "ridiculous". The WTA issued its own statement, calling the original ruling "unfair" and insisting "Alize did nothing wrong".

A second added: "So, hold on".

The row comes amid an ongoing debate about the treatment of women tennis players. The 10-minute break offered between the third and fourth sets of a match in instances of extreme heat is generally only extended to women.

Cornet lost 6-4 3-6 2-6 to Sweden's Larsson in the searing NY heat.

Novak Djokovic had the equivalent of an on-court ice bath with his shirt removed during his game against Hungary's Marton Fucsovics amid 32.2C (89.96F) temperatures.

It comes after Serena Williams was banned from wearing her popular catsuit outfit at future French Open tournaments.

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