French women’s tennis player Alize Cornet has accepted the apology offered by US Open organisers, but the row surrounding her code violation for removing her shirt on court won’t go away.
An extreme heat policy offering female players a 10-minute break before the deciding third sets can be played, was implemented on medical advice at the New York tournament after temperatures reached up to 38C.
Returning to court following the break in her match against Swede Johanna Larsson, Cornet realised her shirt was on back to front and quickly turned it around.
The switch took a matter of seconds and Cornet was wearing a sports bra underneath.
But the world No.31 was immediately hit with a code violation by the chair umpire for her actions.
The call has ignited fierce responses on social media, with many blasting the decision as sexist.
“I believe that should never happen,” fumed former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka following her second-round match on Wednesday.
“If I would say my true feelings, it would be bleeped out, because I think it was ridiculous.”
“It was nothing wrong. Nothing wrong. It wasn’t anything disrespectful. I’m glad they apologised, and I hope this never happens again.”
“There is always a double standard for men and women. But we need to push those barriers.”
The US Tennis Association has acknowledged chair umpire Christian Rask had incorrectly warned Cornet for changing her shirt on court at the US Open.
“We regret that a code violation was assessed to Ms Cornet yesterday,” read the USTA statement . “We have clarified the policy to ensure this will not happen moving forward.”
“Fortunately, she was only assessed a warning with no further penalty or fine.”
The decision to penalise Cornet triggered a social media storm with many people labelling the umpire’s decision as sexist.
Tennis coach Judy Murray, mother of former world No.1 Andy Murray, took to Twitter to question the decision, pointing out men were allowed to change their shirts on court.
Alize Cornet came back to court after 10 minute heat break. Had her fresh shirt on back to front. Changed at back of court. Got a code violation. Unsportsmanlike conduct….. ????
But the men can change shirts on court. https://t.co/sCN4KDXYTb
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) August 28, 2018