How Hot Is Too Hot For Tennis?
The weather is completely sweltering in Melbourne today. Unfortunately, professional tennis players who rolled into town for the Australian Open are definitely feeling the heat in more ways than one.
In the city, the mercury hit 39.0 degrees with forecasts predicting a sweltering 42 degrees on Friday. In even hotter situations, the court-side thermometers on Rod Laver Arena hit a completely insane 69 degrees at 3:30pm this afternoon.
Yet despite the insane temperatures that are probably making you sweat even just thinking about them, the players had to power on through while almost keeling over.
French player Gael Monfils seemed to be struggling in particular in his set against Novak Djokovic. Although both players utilised the ice towels to try and cool down, Monfils continued to struggle with the heat.
Court microphones caught Monfils telling officials that the heat was making him feel dizzy and that he might collapse. Footage also captured him requesting things such as “being allowed more than 25 seconds between service games,” and “being allowed to leave the court for a brief reprieve between sets.”
The current Extreme Heat policy in place at the Australian Open doesn’t come into effect until the ambient air texture goes above 40.0 degrees. Once it comes into effect, play on the outside courts is halted and the roof at Hisense Arena, Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena are ordered to close.
Some people argue that the roof should be closed before the temperatures hit 40.0 degrees while others argue that the intense heat that occurs at this time of year is an intrinsic part of what makes it such a challenging tournament for the players.
Either way, it’s definitely a hot one!