Since 1905, the Australian Open has been a major annual tennis tournament held in Melbourne, Australia, lasting this year from January 13 – 26. Second only to the US Open in attendance, the Australian Open features men/women singles, men/women/mixed doubles, and junior’s championships. The best tennis players in the world come to the continent to compete and prove who’s the best.
You may recall the crazy heat Australia experienced in 2013 — turns out the heat found its latest victims at this tennis event. One player fainted mid-match as temperatures soared to 108°F (42°C) while other players have expressed that it was like playing tennis in a sauna or a frying pan that sizzled their soles.
“I put the (water) bottle down on the court and it started melting a little bit underneath — the plastic. So you know it was warm,” former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki said. “It felt like I was playing in a sauna.”
The tournament has yet to invoke its ‘Extreme Heat Policy” stating the decision is based on the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature, a quotient of air temperature, humidity and wind speed. The relative low level of humidity ensures that play would continue. Canadian tennis player Frank Dancevic slammed the tournament’s organizers for forcing players to competed in “inhumane” conditions after he collapsed on court on Tuesday.
Triple digit heat is expected for three more days, set to crush the previous tournament record (for average temperature) of 94 degrees from 2009. These temperatures are 10-20 degrees above normal.
If you’re at the Open (or someplace sizzling from the heat), beat the heat before it beats you!
Stay safe! Know Before™.
The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team