On Thursday, former world number one, Novak Djokovic, defeated Gael Monfils at the Australian Open under conditions that were verging on unplayable.
The temperature at Melbourne Park reached 39 degrees, with a reflected court heat of 69 degrees Celsius.
On court, Monfils sought medical assistance for heat exhaustion, suffering from dizziness and stomach pain. Between points, he approached the chair umpire and warned he was on the brink of collapse.
“Monfils is physically in a daze right now,” the commentator said of the 193cm Frenchman, who stood saturated, head to toe.
Both men received time warnings for taking too long before changing ends, as they sat hunched with ice packs around their necks.
Monfils said after the match he was, “dying on the court for 40 minutes,” and both players “took risks” by subjecting themselves to that level of heat. “It was tough to breathe… it was the hardest I have [experienced]”, he said.
“I get super dizzy,” the 31-year-old added. “I think I have a small heatstroke for 40 minutes… I played two sets out of breath for nothing.”
Djokovic called the two hour and 45 minute match a, “danger in terms of health,” hinting that officials were more concerned about ticket sales than the well-being of players.
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