U.S. Open officials have apologized for a controversial incident that occurred Tuesday in which a female tennis player was penalized for briefly taking off her shirt on the court during a break amid the sweltering heat and humidity.
Cornet changed her shirt during the break between the second and third sets, but realised it was back-to-front and quickly switched it on court. Cornet was just returning from her 10-minute break when she appeared to realize her shirt was on backwards. What's more, Cornet was wearing a black and red sports bra - the kind many women wear to jog or work out.
The Frenchwoman subsequently took it off and wore it the right way, much to the dismay of chair umpire who gave her a code violation.
Many people, including some of Cornet's fellow players, blasted the decision at the Grand Slam tournament in NY as sexist, given that male players regularly change shirts on the court.
Cornet wound up losing the match 6-4, 3-6, 2-6.
Judy Murray, mother of former world No.1 Andy Murray, highlighted on Twitter that men were allowed to change their shirts on court.
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"Changed at back of court".
The decision has been called "totally sexist".
Others were quick to point out the unfair gender split, with one person posting: "Busted for code violation Alize Cornet took 10 sec to turn top right way but Novac Djokovic can sit for minutes half-naked".
"We regret that a code violation was assessed to Ms.Cornet". This is not considered a code violation. Changed at back of court.
Per CBS News, only the Women's Tennis Association has a rule dictating where their players can and cannot take off their shirts. "Fortunately, she was only assessed a warning with no further penalty or fine". We follow WTA proceedures regarding bathroom breaks. "Unsportsmanlike conduct. But the men can change shirts on court", she tweeted.
The U.S. Open on Wednesday clarified its rules about players changing their shirts during a match after a women's player was penalized for doing so.