Sports

Aus Open defends call not to initiate heat policy

Aus Open defends call not to initiate heat policy

Juan Martin del Potro was also tested but defeated Russian Karen Khachanov 6-4 7-6 (7/4) 6-7 (0/7) 6-4 and will face former semi-finalist Tomas Berdych.

"It was brutal conditions and we both suffered, it was a big challenge for both of us", Djokovic said.

"There are certain days where you just have to, as a tournament supervisor, recognise that you might need to give players a few extra hours until it (the temperature) comes down".

Monfils sensationally told a chair umpire he was about to collapse as he struggled to deal with the Melbourne heat.

Asked if they were the toughest conditions he had ever played in, Djokovic replied: 'One of the toughest ones, yeah.

Djokovic, who was given a time warning in the fourth set, said playing conditions had been right on the limit but was reluctant to criticise umpire John Blom. "Our sport has become an industry, like most of the other global sports". "To be that far already, its more than what we could have expected". "It's a very complex subject to talk about".

"So at the end, it's a bit risky playing in this heat".

AUSTRALIAN Open officials have declared the "health of players is of paramount concern" despite not initiating its extreme heat policy.

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'I had a lot of faith and self belief and I know what I'm capable of. But I think there is a limit, and that is a level of tolerance between being fit and being in danger in terms of health. I think it was the hardest I have [played in].

That decision is taken when the ambient temperature exceeds 40 degrees and the wet bulb globe temperature index exceeds 32.5 degrees. "If the courts have roofs, why not put the roof on when the conditions are extreme?"

Djokovic had not played a competitive match for six months before his first round clash with American Donald Young and while that was a breeze, his clash with Monfils in 40 degrees heat proved to Agassi that the 30-year-old is battle ready. Sections of seats exposed to direct sunlight were almost entirely empty, save for a few courageous fans.

Tennis - Australian Open - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia, January 18, 2018.

The huge Djokovic fan wound up having an entire row to herself.

"These seats are hot; they are burning, and if you touch them it feels like your clothes are on fire", said Marintelli, whose discolored nose was in clear need of some ointment. Was pretty hot. I thought I was very good. "At times I mind that, I don't like that".

Maria Sharapova was untroubled by the heat, although she was on court in the morning and avoided the worst of it.

"I think the surface of the court, I don't know how much heat, it's awful, very, very hot, and it's easy to get blisters and red", she said.


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