Alize Cornet (FRA) plays her first round at the 2018 US Open at Billie Jean National Tennis Center in New York City, NY, USA, on August 28, 2018. Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/Abaca/Sipa USA(Sipa via AP Images)
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(CNN) —  

US Open organizers have expressed “regret” for the way French tennis player Alize Cornet was treated for briefly taking off her shirt on court.

In the sweltering heat at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday, Cornet took her top off after realizing she had put it on the wrong way during a 10-minute heat rule break between the second and third set against Sweden’s Johanna Larsson.

Cornet, who had been running late getting back to the court, reacted with surprise when she was then handed a code violation by chair umpire Christian Rask.

The incident led to a storm of criticism on social media, with Judy Murray, a former tennis coach and also the mother British star Andy, questioning whether double standards were at work for men and women.

“Alize Cornet came back to court after 10 minute heat break,” tweeted Murray. “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.”

The women’s WTA tour was also critical of the incident, saying in an emailed statement: “Alize did nothing wrong.”

Cornet also suffered problems with the heat at the Australian Open in January.
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READ: Djokovic enjoys ice bath as players and fans wilt in US Open heat

Severe weather

“We regret that a Code Violation was assessed to Ms. Cornet yesterday,” said the United States Tennis Association in a statement sent to CNN Sport.

“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.

“Female players, if they choose, may also change their shirts in a more private location close to the court, when available. They will not be assessed a bathroom break in this circumstance.”

Earlier Wednesday, USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier told CNN by phone that Cornet was given a code violation for “changing her shirt at the baseline. That was considered unprofessional conduct … Basically that was a warning and there was no further penalty and there was no fine.”

In the case of Cornet, Widmaier said the USTA had been following the rules of both the men’s and women’s Tours.

“As it relates to female players changing their shirts on court, they will have the right to do so as long as it is when they are sitting in the chair,” said Widmaier. “We don’t want people changing their attire in the middle of the court.”

He added: “Also, in many of our stadiums and other areas, there are places very close to the court, where if the player wants to quickly move to a more private area to change her attire because of these pretty severe weather conditions, we will allow that, and not consider that a change of attire or bathroom break.”

02:09 - Source: Nine Network
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