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Rafa Nadal: Australia Open Heat Dangerous to Health


WilliamM
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Good for Nadal. Just watching on TV is difficult, especially Djokovic's match.

 

ESPN

Rafael Nadal brands Australian Open conditions as 'dangerous'

  • World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has joined calls for a review into the heat policy of the Australian Open after several players complained about the extreme heat in Melbourne.

The tournament's current heat policy calls for the roofs to be closed on the main show courts and play to be suspended on outer courts when the temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and the wet-bulb globe temperature, which takes into account humidity and wind speed, reaches 32.5 Celsius (90.5 Fahrenheit).

 

The policy was last enforced in 2014 when play was suspended when Melbourne had three consecutive days of extreme heat. However, there have been times during the tournament where the temperature has gone above the limit but not the wet-bulb globe temperature.

Nadal, who came through a straight-sets victory over Damir Dzumhur on day five, has expressed his concern that the heat is not safe for the players' health.

 

"[There] have been very, very tough conditions yesterday and today," Nadal said. "Yeah, sometimes is too much and can become little bit dangerous for health. That's the real thing. It's not nice to see players suffering that much on court.

 

"But there is one positive thing, only one: was not humid. That makes a big difference. Even if is very warm, [it is] still very tough."

 

Nadal's comments come after the tournament's organisers defended their decision not to stop play after Novak Djokovic called the conditions "brutal" and "right on the limit".

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I agree.

 

104 degrees Fahrenheit is way to high a temperature to be playing professional sports.

As a 12 year old kid I had heat exhaustion playing in a tournament at 102 degrees.

It was not pretty. They stopped play for 5 minutes, then forced me back onto the court

to finish the match....guess how that went?

 

To this day I keep wondering....WTF were those ADULTS who were in charge of

“monitoring” the event thinking? Was it REALLY so important that we finish the match?

So much so that your going to endanger the health of a child? Thankfully, my oppentent’s

mother was at the match and she threatened to force her child to throw the match if the

“officials” didn’t stop trying to make me play. Unfortunately my parents weren’t at the event....

I think my father would have killed them. Decades later....I still am thankful that woman saved me!

 

So yeah...I agree that 104 is insane.

 

I’d set the limit at 100 for pros and 98 for kids/seniors.

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Agree with Rafa and his request was totally reasonable. Part of being a world-class athlete in an individual sport is making sure you don't put the body through unnecessary risks, like exposing yourself to extreme heat. That's why marathon runners don't run in the middle of the day. Nole and Gael are highly conditioned athletes, but both were looking very sluggish and dehydrated on the court. It's unfair to both the players and spectators.

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The problem for tournament officials, of course, is that a lot of money is riding on having the matches stay on schedule. The televising of live matches is what generates the money that makes the tournaments successful. It is the reason why hundred of millions of dollars have been spent to put roofs on a couple of big courts at the majors so that the high interest matches can get played regardless of the weather conditions. Television is even responsible for such details as the fact that only Wimbledon among the Slams is still played on grass (because hard courts are easier to maintain in show condition for two weeks), even though artificial surfaces are harder on the players' bodies; big matches are usually played at night (when there is a bigger tv audience), and ways have been found to revamp playing time (e.g, reducing the number of sets for a win, tiebreaks, time-outs for commercials, etc.) to fit broadcast schedules. Tournaments are entertainment businesses, and the bottom line is more important to them than the players' welfare.

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I play tennis here in Palm Springs all through the summer, so I am used to playing in fairly high temperatures, but we play as early in the morning as possible, and we have no prize money or ranking points on the line, so we can stop if it becomes too uncomfortable. I have played in temperatures between 90-100, but the humidity here in the desert is so low (single digit percentages are not uncommon) that it doesn't feel as oppressive as it would in Melbourne--I have been to the Australian Open when the temperature was 110 during the afternoon, and it was brutal.

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What makes the brutal heat even worse is that the court absorbs so much heat. The air temperature was about 40°C (104°F) for Novak's match, but the court temperature was said to be 60°C (140°F). Running all around a tennis court in those conditions isn't uncomfortable, it's physically dangerous.

 

True, tennis is a business, but the AusOpen is well-suited to continue in excessive heat because the three stadium courts all have retractable roofs. In excessive heat, just close the roofs and crank up the AC. Those courts feature all the big stars anyway, so the TV ratings will be just fine. On the outer courts, just delay play until 6 pm and play into the night (all the courts have lights).

My ignore list:  marylander1940, MiamiLooker, stevenkesslar

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Yeah it’s been quite hot in Melbourne for the past few days. Here in Sydney, in the first week of January, we had the Australia Versus England teat cricket match. On one of the days play it got to 43.5 degrees Celsius (110 degrees

Fahrenheit). Bearing in mind, players spend 6 hours in the middle of the day on the ground during play. It was the first time in a long while that I’d heard of discussion of a heat rule being invoked to suspend play.

 

http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/ashes-201718-scg-sunday-roast-fries-players-and-33285-fans-on-hottest-day-of-test-cricket-in-australia-20180107-h0eodw.html

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On one of the days play it got to 43.5 degrees Celsius (110 degrees

Fahrenheit)

 

I remember just sitting in the sun for a long time near Manly Beach in Sydney, standing up and collapsing because of the heat. Luckily, there was a first aid station there. My fault for not bringing several bottles of water.

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Thankfully Saturday there was much cooler, mid 20s. That's often the pattern of things, one or two brutal days then back to being relatively temperate. Canberra is having a longer stretch of hot weather, two days so far of high 30s with a couple more to come, then several 'only' mid 30s. As always, stay in the shade when you can and drink heaps of water. Last year in Palm Springs I found myself crossing to the shady side of the street without even thinking about doing so. They showed the start of one of the stages of the Tour Downunder on the TV news, and the start line was about a metre in front of the shadow of the arch thing over the road. All the cyclists were lined up in the shade rather than at the actual start line.

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What makes the brutal heat even worse is that the court absorbs so much heat. The air temperature was about 40°C (104°F) for Novak's match, but the court temperature was said to be 60°C (140°F). Running all around a tennis court in those conditions isn't uncomfortable, it's physically dangerous.

 

And that’s the a big issue. Not only are you having to deal with the heat from the sun but also the heat reflecting back from the court. I do play as early as 7 AM sometimes just to avoid the oppressing Chicago heat and humidity. My friend and I are just warming up the first hour so we like to play as early as possible can get pur matches done before the temperature gets too high.

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Very glad to have watched the Dimitrov-Kyrgios match live on television. Now I need some sleep.

 

I know all of Australia is sad Kyrgios lost. Gregor was just too good. Meanwhile I was 'confused' by the color of his clothes.:)

 

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/9347394-3x2-700x467.jpg

Mike, Dimitrov and Kygios are playing on Jan.21 at 3 AM EST in the United States. (on TV)
Edited by WilliamM
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http://a4.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=%2Fphoto%2F2018%2F0122%2Fr317524_1296x518_5-2.jpg&w=800&h=320&scale=crop&cquality=80&location=origin

 

Sad day for Nole

I woke up with leg cramps at midnight PT, so I turned on the tv and watched some of the first two sets of the match. To me, Nole looks tired and not as interested in the game as he used to be. I think he has started to accept that he will never surpass Roger and Rafa in either the stats or the affection of the audience, no matter how hard he tries. I have never seen a photo that expresses that better than this one.

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I think he has started to accept that he will never surpass Roger and Rafa in either the stats or the affection of the audience, no matter how hard he tries.

 

I have never understood why Novak is not liked as much as the other two men. He has a wonderful sense of humor and has won 12 grand slams. If it is good Spain and Switzerland against bad Serbia (because of the war in Bosnia) that is unfair to Novak.

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He is intelligent and personable and does have a good sense of humor, but I think that some of it stems from the fact that he reached prominence after the Roger/Rafa bromance was already established in the public mind, and it was no secret that they found his personality irritating in those days. I think that their attitude toward him has evolved, but the earlier perception still exists in the larger fan base, exacerbated by the aggressive nature of his Serbian fans.

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