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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Players demand changes to heat policy

Players demand changes to heat policy

AUSTRALIAN Open contenders Maria Sharapova, David Nalbandian and James Blake called for a review of the tournament's extreme heat policy today after battling soaring temperatures to reach the second round.

Sharapova suffered cramps and said she became "delusional" playing Frenchwoman Camille Pin, while Nalbandian branded conditions "terrible" and "disgusting" after his distressed opponent Janko Tipsarevic withdrew.

American James Blake, who is vice-president on the ATP Player Council, said it was paramount to think about the players' health.

"I'm thinking that at some point there's got to be a way to stop a match in that kind of heat," he said.

"I think at some point we're going to run into trouble where it gets serious. I'd hate to see someone become not a casualty, but someone go down, go to the emergency room, be in real tough situations over a tennis match."

Sharapova, the top seed, bore the brunt of the heat.

"It's inhumanly possible (sic) to play three hours in that kind of heat - I don't think our bodies were made to do that," she said after hanging on to beat Pin 6-3 4-6 9-7.

Temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius but Sharapova and Pin had to complete their centre court match because it was already underway when organisers invoked the extreme heat rule.

This allows play to be stopped on outside courts when the mercury touches 35 degrees Celsius but the roof cannot be closed on the Rod Laver Arena or Vodafone Arena until the match underway ends.

The Russian world No.2 said she did not agree with players having to continue in the heat on centre court, but she could not argue with the rules.

"A rule is a rule. Do I like it? Not necessarily, no," she said.

Sharapova, who delayed her post-match press conference for almost two hours to recover, said the Australian Open would be better scheduled later in the year when the weather was cooler.

However, she acknowledged that moving one of the tennis calendar's four grand slam events would be difficult as it would involve wholesale changes to the tour's schedule.

"Do you think I support that I want to go out and play three hours in this kind of heat? No. I mean that would just be stupid," she said.

"But ... it's really hard to just take a big tournament and just move it where you've got a tournament every single week.

"I think all players would prefer to play in better conditions."

Argentinian Nalbandian, one of the most durable players on the circuit, said more should be done to look after the players' welfare in the extreme heat.

"When we are playing in these conditions I think you need more help," he said.

"Okay the rules are like this, so we couldn't change it (today). But if you ask everybody, they will say that we need more help."

Nalbandian had clawed back from two sets and a break down to leading 6-7 (5/7) 4-6 7-6 (7/2) 6-0 2-1 when Tipsarevic retired.

He said more help from trainers should be allowed during changeovers to get through heat-affected matches.

"I don't know if you stop (the match) or not. That's difficult to say when to stop," he said.

"But maybe you can get more massage or more treatment or whatever you need.

"I think when the conditions are like this you start feeling very bad on the court, very bad. It's very disgusting playing like this.

"When you are there, you feel terrible in the heat. I mean, you're just thinking about getting to the changeovers and sitting for a few minutes and drink water and go on again."

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:22 AM
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

Its definatly something thats an issue every year and something that has to be looked into
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

The idiots who run this tournament should be condemned putting the players at risk like this. If I'd been Maria, i tell you, I think I would have said "Close the roof at the end of the 2nd set or I'm walking off!"

If it's too dangerous for some players to play then it's too dangerous for them ALL to play. People die even walking about in this sort of heat, playing three hours of gruelling tennis is ridiculous. WEven more so when the rest of the players are playing under air-conditioning.

The idiots who made the rule that play continues whatever the temperature should be made to go out and play three hours in the midday heat - when even the local wildlife crawls under a rock!

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:37 AM
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

They could have an ice-cream van that drives onto the court whenever there's a changeover.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

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Originally Posted by MightyMashaFan View Post
Its definatly something thats an issue every year and something that has to be looked into
It seems to be getting worse. Maybe the Aussie Open can be the first ever slam to be held entirely at night
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:42 AM
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They could have an ice-cream van that drives onto the court whenever there's a changeover.
Some of the players could also play in Bikinis
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

I struggle just walking in that kind of heat

gotta take my hat of them for conducting it as well as they did

40C + temps are horrid

unfortunately Australia is not a stranger to em these days

and players who played Sydney are exposed to em also as the Medibank International gets very hot when u consider where in Sydney its located

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

the people who made the Heat Rule should be made to play in 40C heat for 3 hours.
then they'll change their minds.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

That's it, I'm supporting the idea for moving it to March/April!


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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

If I was a tennis player, I'll tell the umpire to get the head referee to here and tell him that we need stop now or I'm walking off!


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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

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Originally Posted by FRAZIER~FORCE View Post
Some of the players could also play in Bikinis
YES!!! players should wear less when playing tennis

but seriously, i thought they should have closed the roof halfway during maria's match

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

Just have an ALL NIGHT Aussie Open
starting at 7pm

students got nothing to do as its school holidays right
plus it would be taking place in more Student Friendly Hours

Good luck to my favs

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

These calls have been made for years, yet there haven't been many changes. What else can we expect when the roof wasn't even closed in the Sharapova-Pin match?

IMO, players should be talking directly to ITF and WTA/ATP. Tournament officials won't do much unless they have their arms twisted, and that's where the tennis officials step in.

On another note, wasn't Tipsarevic the one who compared a black opponent to a "monkey"? If that's the case, my sympathy towards him is limited.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

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Originally Posted by FRAZIER~FORCE View Post
Some of the players could also play in Bikinis
ATP players too ?
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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Re: Players demand changes to heat policy

I tought Pin was on that court also.... And I didn't hear her complain about the heat. Or did she have some hidden air-conditioner?

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