World No. 4 Andy Murray has been vocal about his concerns regarding the heat policy in Melbourne, stating that tournament officials are risking a potential tragedy in the sport.
Frank Dancevic, fainted after a set and a half of his match and another, Peng Shuai of China, vomited at the side of the court. A ball boy collapsed during another match and many ticketholders chose not to sit courtside because of the intensity of the heat. This caused the Brit to question the Grand Slam’s heat policy, as he stated that the condition could bring about a possible tragedy in the sport.
“It’s definitely something that you have to look at a little bit. As much as it’s easy to say the conditions are safe, it only takes one bad thing to happen. And it looks terrible for the whole sport when people are collapsing, ball kids are collapsing, people in the stands are collapsing. That’s not great.
“I know when I went out to hit before the match, the conditions at 2.30, 3pm were very, very tough. Whether it’s safe or not, I don’t know. There’s been some issues in other sports with players having heart attacks.”
Murray also questioned Tennis Australia’s policy of allowing women in singles play to have a 10-minute break between the second and third sets in extreme heat.
“The women are more than capable of playing best of five sets. It takes [care of] all of the arguments that people want to have if the women play best of five. I don’t know why there’s the different rules for the heat, I don’t know exactly why that is. If there’s a medical reason for it, then I’m fine with it, if there isn’t, I’m not fine with it. That’s it.”