NEW YORK, NY, USA - Alizé Cornet addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the Change of Attire Code Violation she initially received during her first round singles match against Johanna Larsson.
"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, actually, to be honest," she said after her doubles match. "Because on the court, it really seemed like a mistake from the umpire and nothing else. That's how I take it."
The USTA issued a statement earlier in the day to apologize for the incident, which occurred while the Extreme Heat Rule was in effect, regretting that a code violation had been issued when Cornet switched her shirt from backwards to frontwards.
"Usually when I put my clothes on, I put it the right way," she said to laughs from members of the press. "So when I went out for the 10-minute break and I had to run back because I was late for the beginning of the third set, I just put my t-shirt super fast, and I didn't see that it was the wrong way.
"My boyfriend told me, 'Your t-shirt is reversed.' I was, like, 'What?' For me, I couldn't play the whole third set like this."
The WTA also released a statement, noting that "the code violation was not based on a WTA rule, as the WTA has no rule against change of attire on court." Cornet blamed neither party for the incident.
"I think just the umpire was probably overwhelmed by the situation. You know, we were all very hot outside. Maybe he just didn't make the right decision. 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.
"He stayed on his position and I kept playing, I was trying to win my match. So I just got over it very fast. After thinking about it, I'm just convinced that the umpire was making a mistake. But I don't involve the USTA in all this, and they apologized very quickly to me, so it's no problem."
Cornet was admittedly surprised by the outpouring of support, particularly from players, past and present.
"When I came in the morning to the locker room, many players came to me. Even former players, like Tracy Austin, I was very honored to be actually approached by her like that. And they were just giving me all their support.
"Everybody was pretty scared that I could get a fine for it. I was also scared. I was, like, 'Oh, I had a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.' So it seemed really strong to me. I was really scared to get a fine for it.
"All the players were supporting me for that, and were telling me that if I get fined, 'We would all be together and see the WTA, you know, 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.'
"It was nice to have the girls' support. It feels like when something's happening, we're kind of a family, and everybody is regrouping. It feels nice."