The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Women can dare to bare, not men

New York: Men and women earn the same prize money at the US Open but as far as what they wear on court, there’s little equality.

The skin-tight lycra outfit that women’s top seed Serena Williams has worn in her first two matches has been the talk of the tournament. However, while Serena is allowed to show off a provocative number, Tommy Haas is not allowed to wear a sleeveless shirt.

The third-seeded German was warming up for his first-round match with Spain’s David Sanchez on Wednesday when a tournament official ordered him to switch from a sleeveless shirt to a more conventional one.

International Tennis Federation rules state: “Customarily acceptable tennis attire shall be worn as determined by each respectable Grand Slam.”

“Sweatshirts, gym shorts, dress shirts, T-shirts or any other inappropriate attire shall not be worn during a match (including the warm-ups).”

Serena was shocked by the Haas incident and backed the idea of freedom of fashion expression. “I think for the guys and ladies you should wear whatever you please,” she said. “Someone can’t tell me what to wear. I hate it when people tell me what to wear.”

Venus Williams was chastised at last year’s Australian Open for wearing a low-cut top and several players wear midriff-baring outfits, most notably Anna Kournikova.

“There’s some interesting outfits out there, I will say that,” Pete Sampras said. “Pretty revealing. You see all the curves.”

Haas was unnerved by the shirt controversy.

“I’m the type of guy that sleeves annoy,” Haas said explaining the new look that got him into trouble. “I think it looks good as well...but they told me it was inappropriate so...”

“If you see some of the stuff that’s been worn on the women’s side, you have to give them credit,” Haas said. “They’re probably ahead of us, for sure.

“That’s something maybe for us to look at and see what we can do. I’m sure some people will like it.”

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