|Ball boy collapses, Peng Shuai taken ill in Australian ‘frying pan’ Open
Temperatures that would normally be associated with Middle Eastern deserts drained the energy of healthy competitors at the Australian Open today, the event's second day.
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka likened the conditions at the event to a frying pan.
China’s Peng Shuai needed treatment (Pictured) when she fell ill during her defeat to Japan's Kurumi Nara. She vomited. The mercury soared to 41.6 degrees Celsius today by late afternoon in Melbourne. It was even hotter on the rubberized blue courts.
Canada's Frank Dancevic, a qualifier, needed medical attention after collapsing during his match against Frenman Benoit Paire on court six, which has no cover.
During his loss to Milos Raonic, Daniel Gimeno-Traver rushed to the rescue of a ball boy who collapsed on court.
Four-time champion Roger Federer took the express route in his match today.
After women's champion Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki safely made it through, Federer took to center court with the mercury hitting 40 degrees Celsius.
He eased past Australia's James Duckworth 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 46 minutes.
Federer, 32, said it was great start to his Grand Slam partnership with Stefan Edberg, the six-time major-winner who has joined him as a coach.
Azarenka made hard going of her 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 win over 91st-ranked Johanna Larsson, while 10th seed Wozniacki beat Spain's Lourdes Dominguez Lino for the loss of just two games.
“It felt pretty hot, like you're dancing in a frying pan or something like that,'' Azarenka said. “I don't think anybody wants to go outdoors right now.''
France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga went through in straight sets against Filippo Volandri but Japan's Kei Nishikori, a quarter-finalist in 2012, took five to subdue Australia's Marinko Matosevic.
Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov beat American player Bradley Klahn but 13th seed John Isner was forced to retire with an ankle injury while playing Slovakia's Martin Klizan.
Temperatures are forecast to stay high this week in what could be one of Melbourne's most severe heatwaves on record.--AFP/Agencies