|Female player calls for medical help at Australian tennis oven in Melbourne, play suspended
Australian organizers suspended play at the Australian Open today after temperatures hit 41.7 degrees Celsius for the third day. One more player required medical attention today. (Pictured American Varvara Lepchenko gets urgent medical help)
The playing conditions have been condemned for resembling a ‘frying pan’ and a player said yesterday he feared a fatal outcome n the burning heat. Others have likened Melbourne Park to a furnace.
Players will complete their current sets before a suspension of at least one hour, a spokeswoman said, while the roofs will be closed on the center and second courts.
The tournament's opening days have been dominated by complaints over blistering heat. Players have withdrawn with injuries, collapsed, fainted and vomited. Some have warned of serious health problems.
Temperatures were forecast to reach 44 degrees Celsius today and remain high on Friday before cooling sharply on Saturday.
America's Varvara Lepchenko was the latest victim today when she had her pulse and blood-pressure checked and was rubbed down with ice by staff during a medical time-out.
Temperatures had already reached 38 degrees Celsius as play started at 11am local time. Players shrouded themselves in ice packs and gulped drinks at the changeovers.