US Open ‘Regrets’ Penalising Alize Cornet For Shirt Change Amid Sexism Row - UBITENNIS
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US Open ‘Regrets’ Penalising Alize Cornet For Shirt Change Amid Sexism Row

A statement has been issued regarding the controversial decision made against the world No.31 at Flushing Meadows.

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The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has been forced to clarify their own policy at the US Open after a female tennis player was issued with a code violation for changing her shirt.

 

Alize Cornet was playing in the first round on Tuesday. During a day where the heat rule was in force, the French player took a 10-min break from the court after the completion of the second set. Upon returning, she noticed that her shirt was on backwards and proceeded to change it on the court. Resulting in the umpire issuing her a code violation for ‘unsportsmanlike conduct.’ Despite the fact she was wearing a training bra underneath her shirt.

https://twitter.com/doublefault28/status/1034489290447900672

The penalty drew criticism from figures such as former British Fed Cup captain  Judy Murray and five-time US Open champion Pam Shriver. Both of whom questioned why such a rule is in place when there are no such action taken against the men. Responding to the criticism, the USTA have now backtracked on the violation. Saying that they ‘regret’ what happened and that they have ‘clarified’ their policy to make sure it doesn’t occur again.

“All players can change their shirts when sitting in the player chair. This is not considered a Code Violation,” the U.S. Open said in a statement on Wednesday.
“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.”

Alongside the announcement also came a strongly worded statement from the governing body of women’s tennis, the WTA. In it, they pledged their full support behind Cornet. Stating that the violation was not issued in accordance with their own rules, but to that of the grand slam.

“It was not based on a WTA rule, as the WTA has no rule against a change of attire on court,” the WTA said.
“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.”

Cornet lost in the first round of the US Open to Sweden’s Johanna Larsson.

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Karolina Pliskova hires Sascha Bajin as new coach

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Former world number 1 player Karolina Pliskova has hired German coach Sasha Bajin for the upcoming 2021 season. The Czech player has split up with Daniel Vallverdu. 

 

Under the guidance of Vallverdu Pliskova has not won a single title in 2020 but she reached her second final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, the tournament she won in 2019 beating Johanna Konta. This year she was forced to withdraw from the Rome final against Simona Halep due to an injury problem. 

Pliskova successfully defended her 2019 title in Brisbane and lost to Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova in the third round of the Australian Open and was defeated by Elena Rybakina in the quarter finals in Dubai. She lost to Ons Jabeur in Doha. In her first tournament after the suspension due to the pandemic Pliskova was beaten by Veronika Kudemertova in the second round at the Western and Southern Open in New York. At the US Open Karolina was knocked out by Caroline Garcia in the second round. 

The Czech star lost in the first round in Ostrava after winning the first set. 

Bajin parted his ways with Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska in 2020. The Ukrainian player was not happy after Bajin praised Naomi Osaka, who beat Yastremska at the US Open. 

Pliskova introduced her new coaching team to her fans on Twitter. 

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WTA will change the names of tournament categories

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The WTA will change the names of its tournament categories to be in line with ATP, according to Spanish sports newspaper Marca. 

 

The Premier Mandatory tournaments (Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing) and Premier 5 tournaments (Doha, Rome, Rogers Cup in Canada, Cincinnati and Wuhan) will shift to 1000s. Premier tournaments will be renamed 500 tournaments under the new system. International events will change to 250 events. $125Ks will be renamed as 125-events. 

Points given to the winners might not be the same as the event level unlike the ATP tournaments. The WTA currently awards 1000 points, 900 points and 470 points.The WTA tournament in Madrid will extend by three days. It will be a 11-day event. 

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Elise Mertens sets up Linz final against her doubles partner Aryna Sabalenka

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Number 2 seed and two-time US Open quarter finalist Elise Mertens came back from one set down in her 2-6 6-1 7-5 win over number 4 Ekaterina Aleksandrova 2-6 6-1 7-5 after 2 hours and 5 minutes to reach the final at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz. Mertens will face Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Barbora Krejikova 7-5 4-6 6-3 in the second semifinal.

 

Mertens reached the Prague Open final, the Western and Southern Open semifinals and the US Open in a successful post-covid season. Aleksandrova beat 2020 Roland Garros Nadia Podorska 6-2 6-1 in the quarter finals. 

The Russian player won the Shenzhen Open and reached the St. Petersburg semifinal. She did not drop a set en route to the semifinals. 

The Belgian player was beaten by Aleksandrova 6-4 6-2 in their only previous clash on grass at the s’Hertogenbosch Open. 

Aleksandrova earned two breaks and served out the first set 6-2 on her first chance. Mertens went up a 4-0 lead with a double break and sealed the second set, when Aleksandrova made a backhand error. Mertens converted her fourth break point in the eighth game to seal the third set, when Aleksandrova made a backhand error. 

Mertens set up a final clash against her doubles partner Aryna Sabalenka, who battled past former Doubles world number 1 Barbora Krejikova 7-5 4-6 6-3. Sabalenka ended the year in the top 10 for the first time in her career. With a win in the final against Mertens Sabalenka would tie Simona Halep for most titles won this year. Sabalenka clinched two WTA titles earlier this season in Doha and Ostrava. The Belarusian player has not dropped a set in her three mathces this week against Jasmine Paolini, Stefanie Voegele and Oceane Dodin. 

Sabalenka and Krejikova traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games of the opening set. Sabalenka sealed the first set 7-5. Sabalenka earned an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Kreijikova broke back in the third game. The Czech player sealed the second set with a break at love in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4 forcing the match to the third set. Both players saved a break point in the first seven games. Krejikova came back from 0-40 down in the eighth game but Sabalenka converted her fourth break point at deuce to win the third set 6-3 on her first match point. 

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