The Australian Open has been hit with an extreme heat wave as temperatures soared to 108 degrees (42.2C) yesterday and now officials have complaining players Lebroning themselves everywhere to get out of the heat.
Andy Murray has warned the Australian Open that it runs the risk of hurting the reputation of tennis after players were forced to play in Melbourne’s scorching heat. Canadian player Frank Dancevic and a ball boy both collapsed on the hardcourt. Dancevic said he was hallucinating and saw Snoopy before he passed out. China’s Peng Shuai was blowing chunks everywhere and then suffered cramps during her defeat. Radek Stepanek, a veteran Czech player, also pulled out early due to heat exhaustion against Slovenian Blaz Kavcic. Yaroslava Shvedova needed to be wrapped up in ice towels between sets. Caroline Wozniacki noticed that the bottom of her water bottle melted after being placed on the ground. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s sneakers melted. Jelena Jankovic burned her butt on a seat too.
The temperature hit 108 degrees around 5:45pm, right after Murray started his first-round match against Japan’s Go Soeda. The two players were lucky though because Hisense Arena is one of the stadium courts that has shade.
Organizers have implemented part of their extreme heat policy, with women being given a 10-minute rest between the second and third sets. It fully implemented, play would have been suspended and roofs on show courts would need to be closed.
While Andy Murray has emerged as the leader of the whiny players crying about the heat, Roger Federer, officials and the rest of Australia are waiting for players to grow a pair and just play.