New extreme-heat policy placed on standby
FANS and players have been urged to be sun smart as the tempe temperature soars for a secon second day during the Austr Australian Open.
Tou Tournament director Craig Tiley said the most severe two stages of the tourn tournament’s new extremeheat p policy were likely to be imple implemented today because the te temperature is forecast to hit 33 33C.
Ma Match officials will today monit monitor five new weather statio stations at Melbourne Park — som some of them on court — and co consider suspending play if con conditions are deemed unsafe unsafe.
Spe Spectators and players yester yesterday took cover as the heat p passed 32C at Melbourne Park, and stage 3.7 of a grand slamfirst AO stress scale was reached. Mr Tiley told the Herald
Sun the index could reach stage 5 today and, potentially, play could be suspended.
“There is a chance. I don’t know if it will be a five looking at what the forecast looks like, but I think there is a chance we will be at four,” he said.
“It does look like the temperature is going to be warm so we will be invoking some form of the heat policy.”
Aussie qualifier Astra Sharma said the “really hot” court was hard to deal with during her first-round grand slam debut win against fellow Australian Priscilla Hon.
“I was actually cramping a bit in my leg,” she said.
“I knew it was going to happen because we were both sweating so much.
“Like, my shirt was absolutely drenched.
“I could see her cramping up as well.”
Under the revamped heat policy introduced for the first time at this year’s Open, players are encouraged to increase hydration at stage 2 of the stress index and “apply cooling strategies” at stage 3.
Players are given extended breaks when the index reaches stage 4.
And when it hits stage 5, the tournament referee can suspend matches and order stadium roofs to be closed.
A top of 29C has been forecast for tomorrow.
Steve Wright and daughter Marlee, 5, enjoy a mist sprayer.