US Open umpire penalizes female tennis player for briefly removing shirt during heat wave

Posted at 11:04 AM, Aug 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-29 08:34:38-04

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY (RNN) - The U.S. Open is being criticized for its decision to penalize a female tennis player for briefly taking off her shirt on Tuesday.

Alize Cornet, No. 31 in the world, had changed her shirt between the second and third sets but didn't realize she had put it on backwards. She quickly removed the shirt to fix the error, drawing a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct from the umpire.

Cornet was visibly shocked by the call.

The French tennis player ended up losing to Sweden's Johanna Larsen, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The 2018 Women's Tennis Association rules state that women can only remove their shirts off the court. Men have no such prohibition, as many on Twitter noted.

Cornet's violation happened during an extremely hot tennis tournament. With temperatures rising to nearly 100 degrees, the U.S. Open organizers implemented an extreme heat policy mandating a 10-minute break between sets two and three.

The code violation comes after French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli banned the skin-tight suit Serena Williams wore at the French Open last year, described in the press as a "catsuit."

In announcing a dress code for the French Open, he told Tennis Magazine that her outfit "will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place."

Williams, who has had blood clot issues after the birth of her child, wore the suit for health reasons but said she will not wear it again.

Giudicelli's ban drew the ire of many, including tennis icon Billie Jean King, who said in part, "The policing of women's bodies must end."

King said the rule that Cornet violated was "outdated and impractical."

At the U.S. Open, Williams opted to wear a tutu-type outfit.

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