US Open apologise to Cornet as 'sexism' storm grows

US Open apologise to Cornet as 'sexism' storm grows

Alize Cornet of France was issues a code violation for changing her dress on the court. AFP FILE PHOTO

US Open chiefs on Wednesday said they were wrong to sanction French player Alize Cornet for removing her shirt on court, an incident which saw the tournament accused of sexism and double standards.

Cornet slipped off her shirt, revealing a black sports bra, after realising she had put it on back-to-front while off court during a 10-minute heat break before the third set of her first-round defeat against Sweden's Johanna Larsson on Tuesday.

Cornet, though, shrugged off the row, claiming the Roland Garros furore over Serena Williams's cat suit was "10,000 times worse".

However, there was a storm of criticism for umpire Christian Rask's decision to issue a code violation to 28-year-old Cornet while male players were free to change shirts on court to combat Tuesday's 38-degree heat.

"All players can change their shirts when sitting in the player chair. This is not considered a code violation," said organisers in a statement issued on Wednesday.

"We regret that a code violation was assessed to Ms. Cornet yesterday. 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.

"Female players, if they choose, may also change their shirts in a more private location close to the court, when available. They will not be assessed a bathroom break in this circumstance."

The tournament was blasted for double standards over the incident, especially as it came just days after the French Open said it would ban Williams from wearing her 'Black Panther' catsuit again at Roland Garros.

Cornet said she was stunned that the furore had caused so much controversy and was happy to accept the USTA's apology.

"I think it's very fair from them to apologise to me. I think the umpire was probably overwhelmed by the situation," said Cornet.

She said French tennis federation (FFT) president Bernard Giudicelli's ban on Williams's catsuit was much worse and genuinely worthy of being deemed 'sexist'.

"The president of my federation lives in another time and can still do these kind of comments. They are totally shocking for me," she said.

"What Bernard Giudicelli said about Serena's cat suit was 10,000 times worse than what happened to me on the court yesterday, because he's the president of the French federation and because he doesn't have to do that."

Giudicelli said that there will be "certain limits" placed on clothing worn at the 2019 French Open.

"You have to respect the game and the place," said Giudicelli who made a point of describing Williams's outfit in Paris this year as "unacceptable".



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