U.S. Open of­fi­cials re­gret dress code vi­o­la­tion levied on Cor­net

The Peterborough Examiner - - Voice of Business - JOHN JEANSONNE

NEW YORK — In ef­fect, U.S. Open ten­nis of­fi­cials Wed­nes­day ac­knowl­edged be­ing em­bar­rassed that any­one should have been em­bar­rassed by French player Al­ize Cor­net’s thor­oughly rea­son­able wardrobe func­tion dur­ing her Tues­day match.

Cor­net, a 28-year-old vet­eran play­ing in her 51st ma­jor tour­na­ment, had just re­turned from the 10-minute cool­ing-off pe­riod pro­vided by the Open’s Ex­treme Heat Pol­icy. She was about to start the third set against Swe­den’s Jo­hanna Lars­son on outer Court No. 13 shortly af­ter noon in mid-90s heat when she re­al­ized that she had put her fresh shirt on back­ward.

So she turned her back on the court and stripped off the shirt, worn over her sports bra, to quickly re­verse it. And was star­tled to hear that chair um­pire Christian Rask was as­sess­ing her a code vi­o­la­tion. “Vi­o­la­tion for what?” Cor­net said. “Re­ally?”

The vi­o­la­tion amounted to no more than a warn­ing. It did not trig­ger a fine nor cost Cor­net a penalty point, and the­o­ret­i­cally didn’t im­pact the match, though Cor­net, ranked 31st, pro­ceeded to lose the third set and the match to the 82nd-ranked Lars­son.

But at the re­sump­tion of play Wed­nes­day morn­ing, the Open is­sued a state­ment of “re­gret that a Code Vi­o­la­tion was assessed Ms. Cor­net.” The state­ment, cast as a clar­i­fi­ca­tion of pol­icy “to en­sure this will not hap­pen mov­ing for­ward,” said that

“all play­ers can change their shirts when sit­ting in the player chair” — as hap­pens fairly of­ten with male play­ers.

Cor­net’s fe­male col­leagues were aware of the ker­fuf­fle over her shirt change, and “if I would say my true feel­ings, it would be bleeped out,” said Vic­to­ria Azarenka, the two-time Aus­tralian Open cham­pion who won her sec­ond-round match Wed­nes­day.

“I think it was ridicu­lous. It was noth­ing wrong. I’m glad (the Open of­fi­cials) apol­o­gized.”

Cor­net, though elim­i­nated from the sin­gles draw, is sched­uled to be­gin play in dou­bles on Thurs­day.

Al­ize Cor­net

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