US Open official draws ire after penalizing female player who fixed shirt mid-match

The US Open was accused of sexism after Alizé Cornet was hit with a code violation after briefly rearranging her top during a match on Tuesday, August 28, 2018.
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A U.S. Open official was criticized after French tennis star Alizé Cornet was hit with a code violation on Tuesday after she took off her shirt briefly during a match.

Cornet, 28, was battling Swedish tennis star Johanna Larsson at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., when the two athletes took a mandatory break due to the sweltering weather. When Cornet walked back onto the court she realized her shirt was on backward prompting her to quickly turn around, take off her top to reveal a black sports bra, before putting the shirt on the correct way.

Cornet walked back onto to the court ready to go when umpire Christian Rask slapped her with the penalty. She was then seen putting her hands up in exasperation after she was handed the penalty.


The Women’s Tennis Association rulebook states that “medically approved clothing changes of female players must be performed off court in the most private location,” ABC News Australia reported. However, social media users pointed out that male tennis players often change their attire during matches including Novak Djokovic, who took his shirt off during an ice-bath on the court Tuesday.

Judy Murray, the mother of former U.S. Open winner Andy Murray, tweeted, “Alizé 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.” 

“Busted for code violation. Alizé Cornet took 10 seconds to turn top right way but Novak Djokovic can sit for minutes half-naked. Same comp. Days after Serena Williams [was] slammed for disrespecting tennis because she wore a #catsuit. Not fair. Not right. Tell your daughters,” another person tweeted. 

The tennis world recently made headlines after the French Tennis Federation president told Tennis Magazine that the outfit Williams wore this year in Paris would no longer be accepted. Williams wore the outfit that she called her “Wakanda-inspired catsuit,” referring to the fictional nation in the film “Black Panther.”


The full-length leggings were for health reasons, she said. In what was her first Grand Slam tournament since giving birth to her daughter last Sept. 1, the suit was a precaution after her health scare related to blood clots. A number of tennis stars including Billie Jean King and Andy Roddick criticized the decision to ban Williams’ outfit.

FILE - In this May 29, 2018 file photo, Serena Williams of the U.S. returns a shot against Krystyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Serena Williams will no longer be allowed to wear her sleek, figure-hugging catsuit at the French Open. The French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli, says the tournament that Williams has won three times is introducing a dress code to regulate players' uniforms because "I think that sometimes, we've gone too far." (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

Serena Williams was told she could not wear her “Wakanda-inspired catsuit.”


Cornet ended up losing the first-round match against Larsson, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kathleen Joyce is a breaking/trending news producer for You can follow her at @Kathleen_Joyce8 on Twitter.

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