A French tennis player was slapped with a violation at the US Open on Tuesday for taking off her shirt to readjust it while on the court.
The tournament, held in Queens, New York, has been plagued by an unrelenting heat wave with temperatures soaring upward of 96 degrees Tuesday, with a heat index making it feel like over 100 degrees at times.
The players were given a 10-minute break to cool off and rehydrate, during which Alizé Cornet put on a fresh shirt. When she returned to the court, she realized her shirt was on backward. She quickly took off the shirt and put it back on, prompting umpire Christian Rask to hit her with a code violation.
Women’s Tennis Association rules dictate that players may only remove shirts while off-court. No such rules apply to male players, who took their shirts off frequently Tuesday, to deal with the blistering heat.
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. https://t.co/sCN4KDXYTb
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) August 28, 2018
Cornet, who played Swedish opponent Johanna Larsson, looked surprised at the penalty, which is handed out at the umpire’s discretion.
The decision follows the news from last week that Serena Williams will not be permitted to wear a black catsuit on the court at the French Open. The outfit had been specifically designed to help prevent blood clots and help her circulation, an ongoing condition she developed following a difficult childbirth.
French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli said in an interview with Tennis Magazine that a dress code would be implemented at the French Open, disallowing the catsuit.
On Twitter, fans reacted to the double standards with outrage.
Some said that women just can’t win.
So Williams can’t cover up her whole body and Cornet can’t change her shirt on the court. What y’all want, man?
— 🤬 (@red_rubbo) August 29, 2018
Others tweeted photos of shirtless male players.
Alize Cornet given a code violation for briefly removing her top because it was on backwards (wearing a sports bra underneath, no less).
Sure! Great! Logical! Fair! pic.twitter.com/IyL4ZGS3UA
— Christina Riley (@cmarieriley) August 29, 2018
— Matthew Keenan (@mwkeenan) August 29, 2018
French player Alize Cornet handed a court violation @ #USOpen for briefly removing & adjusting her shirt in blistering heat, while Djokovic can sit topless with no penalty!
The disparity between male & female players sometimes is unbelievable.#USOpen2018pic.twitter.com/JoXz0yV6Zn
— AlexCam (@followalexcam) August 29, 2018
Some pointed out that while Cornet discretely removed her top, male players change their tops frequently without penalty.
US Tennis Open Alizé Cornet take top off because it was back to front and she’s been penalised for breaking the rules. And yet Novak Djokovic can change his top and nothing is said. Sexism in Tennis it’s the 21st Century FFS. pic.twitter.com/iwVXHh779u
— 𝙄𝙊𝘼𝙉, (@GamingWelchman) August 29, 2018