Grand Slam tennis is one of the most grueling things an athlete can go through. It is two weeks of high octane tennis, and you're alone on that island forced to run down shot after shot for hours on end. Add a little heat to those already brutal conditions and the game is almost impossible, and that is what players are going through right now at the Australian Open.
Court temperatures have been in the 100s already in Melbourne, forcing a lot of fans and players alike to take up creative ways to deal with the heat. Already Frank Dancevic of Canada has collapsed on court (see photo gallery at the top), as has a ball boy, and China's Peng Shuai was seen vomiting on court because of the weather. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga believes the heat was softening the soles of his shoes, while Caroline Wozniacki claims her water bottle melted.
"I was dizzy from the middle of the first set and then I saw Snoopy and I thought, 'Wow Snoopy, that’s weird'," Dancevic told reporters. "I couldn’t keep my balance anymore and I leaned over the fence and when I woke up people were all around me."
Some have tried to adjust to the heat, taking down a lot more liquid during their match, while others, like Roger Federer, are just dealing with it.
“Depending on where you come from it has a bigger effect on you, this type of heat, than maybe humid heat,” Federer said after his opening round win on Tuesday. “So it’s very personal, and it can become just a very mental thing and you just can’t accept that it’s hot. Just deal with it, because it’s the same for both.”
With temperatures expected to continue to rise over the next two days, believe that these creative measures will continue with players simply trying to survive their time on these extremely warm tennis courts in Australia.
"I think it's inhumane, I don't think it's fair to anybody, to the players, to the fans, to the sport, when you see players pulling out of matches, passing out," Dancevic said. "Having players with so many problems and complaining to the tournament that it's too hot to play, until somebody dies, they're just keep going on with it and putting matches on in this heat. I personally don't think it's fair and I know a lot of players don't think it's fair."
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- Roger Federer