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Alizé Cornet dons rainbow for US Open Pride Day, doesn’t realize she’s a gay icon
Cornet embraced her status as a proud ally after her second-round victory over Katerina Siniakova in her record 63rd consecutive Grand Slam main draw.
Published Sep 02, 2022
WATCH: Cornet has been in rare form on court this summer, both at major tournaments and in the lead-up to the US Open.
NEW YORK—Day 4 at the US Open saw the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center awash in all things rainbow for Pride Day.
While numerous fans, ballkids and officials could be seen sporting the signature—and quite stylish—rainbow-colored sweatbands, most of the athletes were wearing their pre-planned gear for their matches on Thursday.
Except, of course, for confirmed ally Alizé Cornet, who made good use of the sweatband to find her own rainbow at the end of a grueling three-set victory over Katerina Siniakova on Grandstand.
“I regretted not wearing it last year; I had the opportunity to do it last year and I forgot,” she admitted after following up her first-round dethroning of 2021 champion Emma Raducanu with a 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 win. “This year it was just obvious for me to wear it because I support this community and I think it’s great to have a special day for that. So, it’s important, as a player, to be part of the show.”
No stranger to a show (of any kind), it’s unsurprising that born-entertainer Cornet would take part the now-annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community that began in 2019. The record-breaking French veteran, who is playing her 63rd consecutive Grand Slam main draw, is quick to stand up for what’s right—both in press and on social media. She publicly supported Jelena Dokic through mental health struggles in Australia, and was also among the first to don blue and yellow on court in support of Ukraine when Russian and Belarusian forces invaded the country in February.
For me, this wristband is just a symbol of being open-minded and loving each other,” she said. “I don’t know if I have a lot of gay fans or something, but I just want to show people that I love humanity... Alizé Cornet
But in particular, Cornet’s LGBTQ+ allyship is a no-brainer given the camp persona she brings to the sport she plays, a sport that is consumed in considerable numbers by gay and queer men. Though her flair for the dramatics has occasionally rubbed fans the wrong way over her nearly two decades on tour, the former world No. 11 has become a clear cult figure with a community who traditionally identify with a strong female lead.
Cornet is, quite frankly, the face that launched 1000 GIFs: the internet is full of video clips chronicling her expressive reactions and over-the-top antics, made by those who affectionately call her “Dramalizé.”
All of this, it turns out, was a surprise to Cornet—albeit a pleasant one.
“For me, this wristband is just a symbol of being open-minded and loving each other,” she said. “I don’t know if I have a lot of gay fans or something, but I just want to show people that I love humanity and that’s it. This wristband was here for that, and I really tried to give my best on the court and to the crowd that was supporting me: wherever they come from and whoever they are. Sport is here to unite people.”
Cornet’s decision to stand with the LGBTQ+ community will not only win her new fans but also strengthen bonds she didn’t know she had—all manifesting into support she can channel into more unforgettable performances as her US Open journey continue.