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Tennis: Heat wave not expected for 2015 Australian Open; ‘EHP’ updated

Kei Nishikori combats the heat at this year’s Australian Open. Photo: AFP.

Kei Nishikori combats the heat at this year’s Australian Open. Photo: AFP.

December 2, 2014: Australian Open organisers have predicted that the 2015 tournament will not feature the excessive temperatures that caused players dizziness, cramps and fatigue in this year’s event.

 

Frank Dancevic collapsed in his first-round match, while Peng Shuai vomited on court during her loss to Kurumi Nara, as temperatures soared above 40°C for several days during this year’s first Grand Slam.

 

Meteorologist Bob Leighton predicted that temperatures at the 2015 tournament wouldn’t match the excessive levels witnessed this year.

 

“It’s not going to be as hot as January this year and we don’t expect a heat wave,” Leighton said. “At this stage it’s looking like a normal summer, perhaps slightly warmer, with only one day hitting around 40°C, and little or no rain forecast.”

 

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley revealed an updated extreme heat policy for next year’s event, which will be held at Melbourne Park from January 19-February 1 and feature a third covered showcourt following the addition of a retractable roof to the Margaret Court Arena.

 

“The heat policy, as always, will be applied at the referee’s discretion,” Tiley said. “The decision on implementing the heat policy will take into account the forecast once the ambient temperature exceeds 40°C and the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) reading exceeds 32.5.

 

“When conditions exceed these levels, the referee is taking into account the forecast and state of play when making his discretionary call. We’ve been gathering data for a number of years now and the forecast process is more sophisticated than ever before.”

 

As well as specific temperatures prompting referee assessments, the other major difference from previous years is that matches in progress can be are suspended after the end of an even number games in that set or completion of tiebreak. Previously, play could only be suspended at the completion of a set.

 

The 2009 Australian Open was the warmest event on record, with the average daily maximum 34.7°C, nine degrees above normal. The coolest Australian Open was in 1986, when the maximum temperature averaged just 22.5°C, 3.5°C below normal

 

For tickets, visit: www.ticketek.com.au

 

Source: Tennis Australia (www.tennis.com.au); Editing by SportAsia

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