Reporting of the weather at the Australian Open reached a new high today with the extremely high temperatures being mentioned 44 times during a single match, the fourth time that the previous record has been broken during this tournament.
Before this year the record stood at 27 mentions of the weather in one match, during a thunder storm at the 2010 tournament, but soaring weather references have seen that record broken on each day of the 2014 event so far.
“Playing in these extreme conditions is very difficult as you are acutely aware that the media are more interested in the temperature than the match,” said Dr Glyn Howatson, an exercise physiologist from Northumbria University,
“The world’s highest ranked tennis stars are used to a lot of attention and they are conditioned to play with the eyes of the world on them. But when everybody is more interested in how hot it is in the shade than how Djokovic is serving it becomes difficult. Rafael Nadal cruised through his match last night with the entire duration of the TV coverage showing a courtside thermometer. None of the on-court action was actually televised at all.”
Reports of the extreme heat are expected to have hit another new record high during Andy Murray’s second round match but the numbers have not yet been confirmed. The comments are likely to have been about it being slightly less hot as he played in a night match, where the sweltering 42 degree heat would have dropped to a more manageable 30, but mentions of this in the UK press are still expected to have exceeded 50 per hour.
Apparently there has also been some tennis played and some players have progressed while others have lost, possibly crashing out to lower ranked players. In extremely high temperatures.