Australian Open: Day 2 play suspended after ball kid incident as mercury hits 35 degrees


The Day 2 play at the Australian Open has been suspended on the outside courts on Tuesday afternoon when the AO Heat Stress Scale reached 5.

At around 2pm when the call was made to suspend play on all outdoor courts, Jordan Thompson was in the middle of his first-round match. The Aussie wasn’t particularly impressed when players were taken off the court. “When has that ever happened? I’ve been here when it’s like 45 degrees,” he told the chair umpire.

A leading tennis writer Tumaini Carayol took to Twitter informing about “a ball girl had to be taken from the court during Taylor Townsend’s win over Diane Parry on Tuesday morning”.  Aryna Sabalenka, Garbine Muguruza, Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev and Alize Cornet were among the players who suffered in the brutal conditions of the day session.

“We’re 20 minutes into a stupidly hot day two at the Australian Open and it looks like ball girl was just guided off the court due to illness in Townsend vs Parry. Stay safe everyone,” Carayol tweeted.

Tennis Australia issued a statement, “The play continued until the end of an even number of games or the completion of a tie-break. No new matches will be called to the outside courts. Play has also been suspended on outdoor practice courts. On Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and John Cain Arena, play has continued under closed roofs.”

Under the tournament’s Extreme Heat Policy, the Referee will continually review the conditions and the policy to determine when play on outdoor courts can be resumed. Once that decision is made, players will be given at least 30 minutes’ notice before play resumes.

Organisers said play on outdoor courts would not resume before 5 p.m. local time (0600 GMT).

Tournament organisers use their own Heat Stress Scale – based on the strength of the sun, air temperature in the shade, relative humidity and wind speed – to decide whether play should be suspended at any stage.

Meanwhile, in one of only three matches still on court, former world number one Karolina Pliskova smashed 19 winners to beat China’s Wang Xiyu 6-1 6-3 under the roof at Margaret Court Arena. Organisers said play on outdoor courts would not resume before 5 p.m. local time. The roofs will remain closed on the main showcourts for the matches currently in play.


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