Australian Open Heats Up With Novak and FernandoBy Alexandra Cummings
Tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Fernando Verdasco bring the heat to Melbourne for the 2014 Australian Open.
Exactly how hot is this year’s Australian Open? Hallucination-inducing and "inhumanely" hot, according to Business Insider and CNN. In an interview with Business Insider, Canadian player Frank Dancevic, who fainted during his match against Benoit Paire, elaborated on the extreme conditions: "I was dizzy from the middle of the first set and then I saw Snoopy and I thought, 'Wow Snoopy, that's weird'…It’s inhumane, I don’t think it’s fair to anybody, to the players, to the fans, to the sport, when you see players pulling out of matches, passing out… It's hazardous to be out there, it's dangerous.”
The athletes, ball boys, and spectators alike have been battling the intense heat wave as temperatures reached 108° Fahrenheit (42° Celsius) on Tuesday afternoon. And there’s no relief in sight—temperatures are expected to climb into the 100s each day until the end of the week.
Despite the blistering temps, frontrunner and three-time Open winner Novak Djokovic is headed for his fourth win in a row, moving into the third round of competition after a victory over Leonardo Mayer. Novak won the Australian Open in 2011, 2012, and 2013, beating tennis greats Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal. Meanwhile, Spanish pro Fernando Verdasco won his first round against Ze Zhang yesterday, and will take on Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili today, January 15, at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Check out photos from Novak and Fernando as they prepare for the Open, and tune in to live coverage from Melbourne on ESPN2.