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.

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