Aus Open director defends heat policy

With the temperature heading towards 40’C on Thursday, and more of the same expected on Friday, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has defended their heat policy.

Players were not impressed on Thursday as they battled the heat, and one another, for a place in the third round.

Gael Monfils was visibly struggling with his opponent Novak Djokovic, who won the match, calling the conditions “brutul.”

But while the players wilted in the heat, the Australian Open will only stop play if the temperature exceeds 40’C.

“The policy is from consultation with the players, and remember in most places, be it the Middle East or others parts where it is very warm, they don’t have a heat policy,” Tiley said.

“Throughout the site we have ice misters, there’s plenty of water. For the players there’s ice vests, there’s longer periods of rest and they of course have shade on their chairs.

“These are professional athletes. We are at the end of the day an outdoor event. We want it to stay an outdoor event as long as possible but at the same time ensuring that the health and wellbeing of players is taken care of.