Alize Cornet given code violation for removing top during US Open match as Judy Murray criticises ‘sexist ruling’

The ruling only applies to female tennis players, which led former Great Britain FedEx Cup captain Murray to question why men weren’t punished for the same action

Alize Cornet given code violation for changing top at US Open

Judy Murray has led criticism of US Open officials after French tennis player Alize Cornet was given a code violation by her match umpire for taking her top off on court after putting it on the front way round.

The incident has sparked a sexism storm in New York, given that male players are regularly seen to remove their T-shirts during matches without punishment, and the sanction during Tuesday’s first round encounter between Cornet and Johanna Larsson left the Frenchwoman visibly baffled.

Under the WTA regulations, female players are not permitted to chance their attire while out on the court, but there is no such ruling in the men’s game and the likes of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer were seen on Tuesday changing their tops as they looked to cope with the extreme heat that hit New York.

Both genders have been granted 10-minute heat breaks – women allowed to take it before the start of the third and men before the fourth set – such were the difficult conditions this week, but when Cornet returned from hers she noticed that she had put her top back on the wrong way around.

Rather than delaying the game by returning to the locker room, Cornet quickly turned away from the television cameras, took her top off and put it back on the right way in an action that took all of 10 seconds. But as she prepared for the match to resume, chair umpire Christian Rask punished her by announcing the code violation for unsportsmanlike behaviour due to revealing her sports bra underneath her top.

Alize Cornet removed her top when she noticed it was on the wrong way round
Cornet turned away from the cameras as she removed the top
Cornet then returned to prepare for play but was given a code violation instead

It has led to widespread condemnation of the regulations, with former Great Britain FedEx Cup captain Murray criticising the decision.

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,” she wrote on Twitter.

Other tennis stars joined Murray in her criticism, with former Australian player Casey Dellacqua labelling the incident “ridiculous” and American Bethanie MattekSands calling it “weak”.

Under the regulations Novak Djokovic was able to sit topless for a number of minutes without sanction

The furore comes just a week after 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams was banned by French Open officials from wearing her unique black catsuit outfit that she donned earlier this year. Williams condemned the ruling, and had her own response on Monday by wearing a black tutu during her first-round victory at the US Open over Carina Witthöft.

Williams, who suffered life-threatening blood clots following the birth of her daughter Olympia last year and wore the catsuit as a result, took the decision in her stride, saying in her press conference: “I feel like if and when they know that some things are for health reasons, then there’s no way that they wouldn’t be OK with it. So I think it’s fine.

“When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender.”

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