Cornet Surprised By Reaction To Her Shirt Change

dpa, Berlin

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Male tennis players often change their shirts in front of crowds, especially when the temperatures soar, so what's the big deal when a woman does it? Ask Alize Cornet who didn't think twice about her supposed "unsportsmanlike conduct" at the US Open.


French player Alize Cornet didn't know that her T-shirt change along the sidelines of her second-round match at the US Open would cause the equivalent of an international incident in the tennis world.

"When I woke up this morning I didn't think that this conduct violation would become so famous in less than 24 hours," Cornet said Wednesday.

It even had the women speaking of a revolution, Cornet told reporters, referring to the way fellow women players were prepared to close ranks around her. But the uproar calmed down, she said, when the US Tennis Association apologized to her.

Cornet removed her shirt, revealing her sports bra, between the second and third sets in Tuesday's defeat to Johanna Larsson after realizing she had put it on backwards during a 10-minute heat break. Cornet was assessed a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct by the male umpire.

Her reaction was to tell the umpire that "was pretty weird," but she put it aside and said it didn't affect her play.

"I was disturbed for maybe 10 seconds," said Cornet, who went on to lose in three sets and then lost her doubles match on Wednesday.

Cornet said there was a lot of concern among her fellow players that she could receive a fine and that woman are treated differently in such situations, but thinks it's improving.

She also voiced her opinion about the decision to ban Serena Williams' cat suit at the French Open from next year, calling it "shocking."

The USTA moved quickly to avoid any similar controversy. It said any player, male or female, can change their shirt on the sidelines of the court when sitting in the player chair and it's not considered a code violation.

"We regret that a Code Violation was assessed to Ms. Cornet yesterday," the statement said. "We have clarified the policy to ensure this will not happen moving forward."

It also noted that Cornet was only assessed a warning with no further penalty or fine, and added that female players, if they choose, may also change their shirts in a more private location close to the court, when available and will not be assessed a bathroom break in this circumstance.

The shirt-change also prompted reaction from the Women's Tennis Association, which said it has no rule against a change of attire on court.

Male players often change their shirts in front of crowds, especially when the temperatures soar to the levels reached this week in a heat wave in New York. Both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer changed their shirts during their matches Tuesday while seated in their respective players' chairs.

Andy Murray's mother Judy questioned the assessment of a violation. She pointed out in a tweet that men can change shirts on court and later tweeted the US Open's statement clarifying the "change of attire" policy.

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