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French female player took off shirt on tennis court, US Open officials blasted for sexist punishment

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US Open officials are feeling the heat after being accused of making a blatantly sexist decision to punish a female tennis player.

French tennis player Alize Cornet was struck with a code violation after she momentarily took off her shirt to turn it around while on a heat break at the tournament in New York where temperatures reached the mid-90’s Tuesday.

Cornet realized she accidentally put sports top on the wrong way as she walked back to the court for her match against Swedish player Johanna Larsson. Turning her back to cameras, the World No. 31 player took a few mere seconds to take off the top, revealing her black sports bra, and flipping it around.

Chair umpire, Christian Rask, found the move inappropriate and hit the 28-year-old with the strange code violation. Female players are not allowed to change attire while on the court, according to the Women’s Tennis Association rulebook. But if the need to enforce that rule was not enough to be called out by fans, the sexist double standard really infuriated them.

Male players, in contrast, are not subject to the same rule and can freely change on the court – a much needed move when the temperatures are soaring.

According to Deadspin:

A “heat rule” was in full effect today, which allows longer-than-usual breaks in between certain sets (after the second set for women and after the third set for men). The break is just 10 minutes, though, which isn’t that long to cool off, change, hydrate, and prepare once again to step onto the blazing 100-plus degree courts.

 

The controversy erupted just days after the French Open issued a ban on Serena Williams’ black catsuit, prompting a scathing call to end the “policing of women’s bodies” by tennis legend Billie Jean King.

Twitter users unloaded on the”ridiculous” and “sexist” rule, slamming US Open officials on social media for Cornet’s treatment and the unfair code in general.

“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,” Scottish tennis coach, Judy Murray, said in a tweet that went viral. “Unsportsmanlike conduct….. but the men can change shirts on court.”

“Ridiculous,” former Australian tennis player, Casey Dellacqua, responded.

Bethanie MattekSands, an American tennis player, also commented, “that’s weak!”

Others minced no words condemning the ruling and its sexism.

Frieda Powers

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