Alize Cornet was assessed a code violation for briefly taking off her shirt at the U.S. Open after realizing it was on backwards.
It was so hot at the Open on Tuesday (temperatures were in the mid-90's, with heat indexes surpassing 100) that an Extreme Heat rule was put into effect for both men and women. Women were permitted a 10-minute break between the second and third sets, while men could take the same break between the third and fourth sets.
After splititng the first two sets with Johanna Larsson in a first-round match, Cornet took her break before returning to the court for tthe decisive third set. She realized that her shirt was on backwards, then took it off with the sole intention of fixing her mistake.
A male umpire then assessed Cornet with the code violation. She was warned and not penalized a point, but the decision was widely criticized, sparking claims of sexism. It is not uncommon for men to remove their shirts on-court.
Cornet would go on to lose the match.
The controversy comes shortly after the French Open announced a controversial new attire policy that specifically banned the catsuit Serena Williams wore at this year's tournament in Paris.
The U.S. Open released a statement in response:
"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.
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."
The WTA issued its own statement, calling the code violation "unfair" and suggesting that "Alize did nothing wrong."