NEWS
30/08/2018 10:53 BST | Updated 30/08/2018 11:44 BST

US Open 'Regrets' Penalising Female Tennis Player For Removing Her Top

The decision sparked conversations about sexism in the sport.

The US Open has apologised to a French tennis player for sanctioning her after she briefly removed her top on the court.

Alizé Cornet, the world number 31 player, had noticed that her top was on back-to-front after returning from a 10-minute heat break during a match at the championships in New York on Tuesday.

The player quickly removed the garment to put it back on the right way, but was immediately reprimanded by the umpire.

The incident follows debate around sexism in tennis last week, when Serena Williams banned from wearing the black catsuit she wore in the French Open. Williams said the outfit had helped her cope with blood clots, which had put her life at risk during childbirth.

The United States Tennis Association has now released a statement saying it “regrets” the issuing of the violation, and that Cornet would face not face further punishment.

Cornet has said she welcomes the apology: “I was surprised when I just changed [my] T-shirt really quick and he gave me the code violation, I didn’t expect it, and I told him it was pretty weird. I think it’s very fair from them to apologise to me. I really appreciate it.”

The apology follows widespread criticism regarding sexism in the sport, on the grounds that women are not permitted to change on the court, but there is no such ruling for men’s games.

Judy Murray, former Great Britain FedEx Cup captain, took to Twitter to criticise the ruling. “Alize Cornet came back to court after 10 minute heat break” she wrote. “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.”

Dealing with this week’s extreme heat in New York, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer were seen changing their tops during Tuesday’s games.