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Tennis star penalised for taking top off slams Serena catsuit ban

A tennis star penalised for taking her top off on court has blasted the French Tennis Federation president for banning Serena Williams’ catsuit.

A storm erupted after French player Alize Cornet was given a warning for quickly changing her shirt at the US Open on Tuesday after realising she had put it on back to front.

The decision was branded sexist given male players regularly change shirts on court, and US Open organisers responded with a statement on Wednesday admitting Cornet should not have received any sanction.

But despite welcoming the apology, Cornet has lashed out at the president of the French Tennis Federation Bernard Giudicelli, who caused a stir on the eve of the tournament by saying the catsuit Serena Williams wore at the French Open this year would no longer be deemed acceptable because players have to ‘respect the game’.

Tennis star Alize Cornet, who was penalised for taking her top off on court (pictured), has blasted the French Tennis Federation president for banning Serena Williams’ catsuit

A storm erupted after French player Alize Cornet was given a warning for quickly changing her shirt at the US Open on Tuesday after realising she had put it on back to front

A storm erupted after French player Alize Cornet was given a warning for quickly changing her shirt at the US Open on Tuesday after realising she had put it on back to front

Cornet has lashed out at the president of the French Tennis Federation Bernard Giudicelli, who caused a stir on the eve of the tournament by saying the catsuit Serena Williams wore (pictured) at the French Open this year would no longer be deemed acceptable because players have to 'respect the game'

Cornet has lashed out at the president of the French Tennis Federation Bernard Giudicelli, who caused a stir on the eve of the tournament by saying the catsuit Serena Williams wore (pictured) at the French Open this year would no longer be deemed acceptable because players have to ‘respect the game’

She said his remarks were ‘10,000 times worse than what happened to me’.

The French number two said: ‘We still have some people, like the president of my federation that lives in another time and can still do these kind of comments. They are totally shocking.

‘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.’

The 28-year-old echoed the thoughts of former world number one Victoria Azarenka, who believes women and men are still judged by different standards and wants the WTA to be at the forefront of fighting such attitudes.

Azarenka said: ‘I’ve no idea what it means disrespecting the game playing in the catsuit.

‘There is always a double standard for men and women. As players, as representatives of the WTA Tour, I believe we’re going to do the best we can to make sure that we are the most progressive sport and continue to break those boundaries, because it’s unacceptable.’

Victoria Azarenka (pictured) believes women and men are still judged by different standards and wants the WTA to be at the forefront of fighting such attitudes 

Victoria Azarenka (pictured) believes women and men are still judged by different standards and wants the WTA to be at the forefront of fighting such attitudes 

Cornet was shocked by how much attention the incident she was involved in had received and accepted it was simply a mistake by the umpire.  

She said: ‘I think just the umpire was probably overwhelmed by the situation. We were all very hot. Of course, I was surprised when I just changed T-shirt really quick and he 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 apologise to me. I really appreciate it. When I woke up this morning, I didn’t think that this code violation would become so famous in less than 24 hours, and I’m very surprised about it.’

The likes of Judy Murray and Billie Jean King took to Twitter to condemn the warning, and Cornet received a huge amount of support from her fellow players.

She said: ‘Everybody was pretty scared that I could get a fine for it. I was also scared. They were telling me that if I get fined, we would all be together and see the WTA and make a revolution and stuff. I was, like, ‘Calm down. I’m going to get the information first and then we see if we make a revolution or not’.’

The WTA welcomed the US Open response, saying in its own statement: ‘The code violation that USTA (United States Tennis Association) handed to Alize Cornet during her first-round match at the US Open was unfair and it was not based on a WTA rule.

‘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.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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