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    France's Alize Cornet celebrates after winning her women's singles first round tennis match against Italy's Sara Errani on day one of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on May 27, 2018.

    Tennis Star Says Shirt Penalty Was 'Weird' as US Open Apologizes After Backlash

    © AFP 2019 / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT
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    Earlier this week, French tennis player Alize Cornet received a warning for changing her top on court after realizing she had it on back to front during her first-round clash with Swedish rival, Johanna Larsson, at the US Open.

    After the US Tennis Association, in charge of the tournament, issued a statement to express “regret” over the decision by a chair umpire, the 28-year-old Alize Cornet accepted the apology and said she was stunned by the attention the incident had received.

    “I was surprised when I just changed T-shirt really quick and he [the umpire] 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 apologize to me. I really appreciate it.”

    READ MORE: Serena Williams Wins on US Open Return, Drives Twitter Mad With Outfit Choice

    After Cornet received a warning for a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct, such prominent figures as Judy Murray, Tracy Austin and Billie Jean King weighed in to defend her, while many others stepped in to blast the US Open organizers for sexism.

    “All players can change their shirts when sitting in the player chair. This is not considered a Code Violation. We regret that a Code Violation was assessed to Ms. Cornet yesterday. We have clarified the policy to ensure this will not happen moving forward. Fortunately, she was only assessed a warning with no further penalty or fine,” the organizers' statement read.

    It also suggested that female tennis players “may also change their shirts in a more private location close to the court, when available.”

    The Women’s Tennis Association, for its part, welcomed the tournament organizers’ statement, saying: “The code violation that USTA handed to Alize Cornet during her first round match at the US Open was unfair and it was not based on a WTA rule, as the WTA has no rule against a change of attire on court.”

    “The WTA has always been and always will be a pioneer for women and women’s sports. This code violation came under the Grand Slam rules and we are pleased to see the USTA has now changed this policy. Alize did nothing wrong,” the statement added.

    Before the US Tennis Association issued an apology, the Frenchwoman broke her silence on Wednesday for the first time since the incident triggered a social media storm.

    "For sure, the women are treated a little bit differently. I think it has gotten much better, especially in tennis. I want to be clear about it and I didn't take it that bad. I was just maybe disturbed for 10 seconds and that was it."

    READ MORE: US Open Under Fire as Tennis Ace Penalized for Taking Her Top Off During Match

    She also blasted the French Tennis Federation for introducing a dress code for the French Open that will ban tennis superstar Serena Williams from wearing a black catsuit.

    "Everybody is working in the same direction. Then we still have some people, like the president of my federation that lives in another time. What Bernard Giudicelli said about Serena's catsuit was 10,000 times worse than what happened to me on the court yesterday, because he's the president of French Federation and because he doesn't have to do that. This kind of person doesn't have the work that we are all doing to make it more fair for women," Cornet said.

    In a Tennis Magazine interview last Friday, Giudicelli said the bodysuit would no longer be accepted.

    "I think we sometimes went too far. The combination of Serena this year, for example, it will no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place."

    Earlier this week, Cornet returned from a 10-minute heat break between the second and third sets during a match at the US Open in New Yok when she noticed she was mistakenly wearing her top backwards and decided to swiftly rectify the problem, briefly flashing her sports bra. The chair umpire ruled a code violation, which has been widely criticized on social media as unfair and sexist.

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    code, t-shirt, violation, tennis, US Open, Alize Cornet, United States
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