Australian Open 2018: Djokovic Beats Monfils In 'Brutal' Melbourne Heat

Australian Open 2018: Djokovic Beats Monfils In 'Brutal' Melbourne Heat

Novak Djokovic overcame Gael Monfils in brutal conditions at the Australian Open.

Former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro battled an apparent thigh injury and sapping heat to down Russia's Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (0), 6-4 and reach the third round.

It's supposed to be even hotter on Friday, with a forecast high of 42 Celsius (108 Fahrenheit).

That's right, Monfils claims he had a heat stroke.

"The health of our players is of paramount concern to us, and we are constantly monitoring conditions".

"It was right at the limit", the 30-year-old 14th-seed said. "That's what happens when we play each other". "It's a very complex subject to talk about".

It is unclear whether the Australian Open's extreme heat policy, twice invoked in 2009 and 2014, will be enforced on Friday with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a top of 42C in Melbourne.

Without any background in atmospheric science or climatology courses, I don't have a clue about the relationship between temperature and Web Bulb Globes.

On Thursday, it was really hot.

"Was pretty hot in Miami", said Monfils.

"I think I had a small heat stroke for 40 minutes".

Some umpires shelved the strict 25-second rule of time allocated between points as the heat reached its zenith, but Djokovic wasn't afforded that luxury and copped a violation warning - a decision he took with good grace.

"It becomes less about athletic skill and more about extreme heat survival. If the courts have roofs, why not put the roof on when the conditions are extreme?"

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A gruelling encounter ultimately went 4-6 6-3 6-1 6-3 Djokovic's way, with the Serbian keeping his cool to continue his comeback charge from an elbow injury.

And a closed roof could have made for a better experience for fans.

Djokovic was rumoured to have requested to play his match in the middle of the afternoon, despite the predicted heatwave. "So I feel like I transported myself into the TV this year and I'm finding myself on Rod Laver Arena competing".

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

"People might say at this level you have to be as a professional tennis player fit", Djokovic said. "I put sunscreen on about six times and kept covering myself with cold water".

Maria Sharapova was untroubled by the heat, although she was on court in the morning and avoided the worst of it. Honestly, I played two sets out of breath, for nothing, just to please the official. "And it's Novak Djokovic".

"Del Potro was so impacted by the heat, that it took him almost three hours at the end of his match to meet with the media".

"But it's our choice, at the same time, whether we want to play or not", he said. "Also, if you saw the crowds, nobody was there watching under the sun". "I think there are certain days where you just have to, as a tournament supervisor, recognize that you might need to give players a few extra hours until (the heat) comes down". "I understand there is a factor of tickets". But I think there is a limit, and that is a level of I guess tolerance between being fit and being, I think, in danger in terms of health.

It was tough to witness.

Federer faces Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff in Thursday's second night match on Rod Laver Arena.

Under the extreme heat policy at the Australian Open, match referees can decide to postpone and suspend matches when the temperature rises above 40 degrees.

"It was a tough decision I think for the official". You work and train hard to be able to sustain these kind of conditions, to be tough.