Soaring temperatures have players in 'frying pan' at Australian Open

By Evan Hilbert |

The heat is on for players like Tommy Robredo at the Australian Open.
The heat is on for players like Tommy Robredo at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)

Despite temperatures well over 100 degrees, organizers insist the show must go on at the Australian Open.

"We have to reach a minimum threshold and have a forecast that it will be sustained for a reasonable time," tournament director Wayne McKewen said in a statement. "That didn't happen. While conditions were hot and uncomfortable, the relatively low level of humidity ensured play would continue."

Organizers did, however, introduce the "extreme heat" plan, which allows women an extended break between the second and third sets.

The heat is affecting players beyond just exhaustion and cramping. Frank Dancevic collapsed after hallucinating during his match (he apparently saw Snoopy). A ballboy also fainted. World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki told the Associated Press her water bottle melted. Peng Shuai vomited. Defending champion Victoria Azarenka likened the conditions to "dancing in a frying pan."

Players have complained that the heat may be too much -- Dancevic called it "inhumane" -- but 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer took a more simplistic, rational tone.

"Just deal with it, because it's the same for both [players]," Federer said.

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