The US Open has been engulfed by a controversy over perceived sexism on court, after Alize Cornet was handed a code violation for readjusting her shirt in her opening round loss to Johanna Larsson.
As the Frenchwoman walked back onto court after a medically induced heat break, the 28-year-old didn’t realise she’d accidentally put her shirt on backwards.
Cornet remonstrated with the chair umpire about the length of time it had taken her to walk back from the designated cool-down area to court 13.
After placing her bag down, she strode into the shadows at the back of the court, put her racquet between her legs, turned her back to her opponent and the crowd and quickly lifted her top off, briefly revealing a black and red sports bra.
Shortly after she’d flipped it back into place, umpire Christian Rask issued her with the penalty.
Commentators and social media were swift in their condemnation of the call.
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Among those to voice their disappointment was Judy Murray, the mother of former US Open champion Andy Murray.
While technically Cornet had fallen foul of “unsportsmanlike behaviour”, Murray and others were quick to point out a double standard that exists in the sport.
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
Male players regularly swap their shirt at the change of ends, with the umpire’s permission while sat in their chair.
Cornet had observed the WTA rules in the first instance and switched her shirt in the privacy of the locker room.
With temperatures reaching the high 40s on court — prompting heat breaks in both men’s and women’s matches — the need for fresh attire during matches has been pronounced at Flushing Meadows in the opening round.
Men’s number six seed Novak Djokovic had the equivalent of an on-court ice bath, with his shirt removed, while the world’s leading female players are urged to follow a different set of rules.
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Story credits:ABC News