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Marcus1979
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:20 PM
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."

Source (http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,21069845-23216,00.html)

Andy.
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:22 PM
Its definatly something thats an issue every year and something that has to be looked into

xan
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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!

controlfreak
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:37 PM
They could have an ice-cream van that drives onto the court whenever there's a changeover. :)

CrossCourt~Rally
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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 :lol:

CrossCourt~Rally
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:42 PM
They could have an ice-cream van that drives onto the court whenever there's a changeover. :)

:drool: Some of the players could also play in Bikinis :lol:

Marcus1979
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:42 PM
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 :o

TheBoiledEgg
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:45 PM
the people who made the Heat Rule should be made to play in 40C heat for 3 hours.
then they'll change their minds.

Mateo Mathieu
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:47 PM
That's it, I'm supporting the idea for moving it to March/April!

Mateo Mathieu
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:50 PM
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!

rockstar
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:50 PM
:drool: Some of the players could also play in Bikinis :lol:

YES!!! players should wear less when playing tennis :lol: :p

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

TheBoiledEgg
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:50 PM
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 ;)

Veritas
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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? :mad:

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.

ioni
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:54 PM
:drool: Some of the players could also play in Bikinis :lol:

ATP players too ? :unsure: :scared:

Dasha_
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:54 PM
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?

Huntress555
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:54 PM
It would be extremely hard to move the grand slam, BUT it has to be looked into, or something has to be done.

The Grand Slams are great events, and we dont want a great event like this ruined because of the danger the heat is to the players.

Even moving it a month or two could make a great difference.

TheBoiledEgg
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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?

she's not gonna complain is she
heat helped her 10000%
if it wasnt for the heat she would have lost in 40 mins.

jenglisbe
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:58 PM
The roof was closed at a certain point, though, and matches were postponed. What is the real complaint here?

Dasha_
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:01 PM
she's not gonna complain is she
heat helped her 10000%
if it wasnt for the heat she would have lost in 40 mins.

So, heat is the problem with non-fit players... Ana Ivanovic came out on the court the very same time as Sharapova, but she didn't have such a big problem. And she is not a very fit player (as much as I love her)

Marcus1979
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:01 PM
why not just have the roof closed at start of the day when its forcast to be very hot?

ie tomorrow will be 37
and Saturday 38

I say close the roof at beginning of the day
and don't play outside courts till later on in evening ;)

or even treat it like rain event where they stop play when it gets to hot

TheBoiledEgg
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:04 PM
So, heat is the problem with non-fit players... Ana Ivanovic came out on the court the very same time as Sharapova, but she didn't have such a big problem. And she is not a very fit player (as much as I love her)

thats not true
extreme can affect anyone. fitness doesnt really matter.

GoDominique
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:07 PM
As someone already said, it makes little sense that it's not allowed to finish a match with the roof closed when the same IS allowed after a rain delay.

That should be changed for sure.

CrossCourt~Rally
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:09 PM
ATP players too ? :unsure: :scared:


:scratch: ...WHY NOT!!! :lol: I don't know if RAFA could fit in one though ;) :angel:

Huntress555
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:09 PM
thats not true
extreme can affect anyone. fitness doesnt really matter.


Exactly, different people cope with the heat in different ways.

Point is, it can be very dangerous, and it seems to have affected quite a few of the players, it should be looked at.

rockstar
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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?

the media doesnt give a damn about her opinion, that's why we heard nothing from her ;)

Stroba
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:12 PM
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?

Iīm sure you know heat affect people differently, and itīs not only down to fitness.

Sure there are people that can run in 40 degrees celcius for hours. But these people shouldnīt be kept as benchmarks. A tennismatch should determine who is the better player and not who can stand the heat the longest.

And there have been other players complaning too.

Stroba
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:20 PM
I can't believe what it takes for some people to side with Sharapova she could have been in serious trouble today, fitness has absolutly nothing to do with heat stress, you do realise in some fields of work i.e Building and Construction in countries prone to heat they have irregular work times because of the worry of the heat you can be as fit as a fiddle and become a victim of the heat, im just a little shocked at some people in here putting it down to fitness etc.

Exactly. Surely fitness helps, I mean if I had to play in that heat, Iīd be dead in 15 minutes. But extreme heat like that might affect even the fittest.