Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 18th 2014 Contents A53
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MELBOURNE---The heatwave didn't claim any
major casualties at the Australian Open, yesterday.
Melbourne Park didn't quite reach the forecast peak
of 44 Celsius (111 Fahrenheit)---it did get to 43 C
(109 F)---that had some players complaining about
Here's a look at the fifth day of the Australian
Open tennis championships yesterday:
Weather: High of 42 Celsius (108 Fahrenheit)
although a late-afternoon change dropped
temperatures significantly, followed by evening rain
showers which caused some delays to the schedule.
Attendance: Day session: 31,644; Night: 25,530.
Seeded winners: Men: No. 2 Novak Djokovic, No. 3
David Ferrer, No. 7 Tomas Berdych, No. 8 Stanislaw
Wawrinka (injury walkover), No. 15 Fabio Fognini, No.
17 Tommy Robredo, No. 19 Kevin Anderson.
Women: No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 4 Li Na, No. 9
Angelique Kerber, No. 14 Ana Ivanovic, No. 22
Ekaterina Makarova, No. 28 Flavia Pennetta, No. 30
Eugenie Bouchard. (AP)
No major casualties as heatwave continues
MELBOURNE---Li Na had one simple request
before answering questions in her on-court, post-
match interview following a two-and-a-half-hour
battle in the brutal heat at the Australian Open
yesterday: "Can we stand in the shadow?"
The Chinese star certainly earned the courtesy.
She saved a match point before prevailing against
Lucie Safarova, all while playing at the hottest time
of the day.
The temperature topped 40 C (104 F) for the
fourth consecutive day in Melbourne, the longest
heatwave in the city for more than a century.
Players draped themselves with ice packs during
changeovers and those in the women s singles were
given a ten-minute break before playing a third set,
but tournament officials did not enact the Extreme
Heat Policy, which would have suspended matches
on the outer courts and closed the roofs on the two
The heat policy was put into effect on Thursday
when the temperature topped 42 C (108 F) in the
early afternoon, suspending matches on the outer
courts for about four hours.
The high again topped 42 C (108 F) yesterday
and, again, doctors were a frequent sight on the
China s Zheng Jie received medical treatment after
becoming dizzy and struggling with her breathing
during the second set of her third-round loss to
"I feel so hot, my (mind) is not working," she
said. "I just watch the ball and just hit it. I don t
know where I hit it."
A doctor checked her blood pressure as she was
lying across chairs beside the court with ice bags
around her neck. She got up and broke Dellacqua s
serve in the next game, but lost the match.
Poland s Jerzy Janowicz, the 20th seed, looked
completely drained during his third-round loss to
Germany s Florian Mayer and said later, holding
back tears, that his only chance would have been
to play at night.
"Whatever he would do today and whatever I
would do today doesn t matter," he said. "I had no
power to stay on the court. I felt like I m going to
Top-seeded Serena Williams had an easier time
during her 80-minute win over Daniela Hantuchova,
but she, too, sought any shade she could between
points and later withdrew from the doubles com-
petition with sister Venus before they were scheduled
to play their first-round match.
The official reason was an injury to Venus leg,
but Serena admitted she didn t relish the idea of
playing another match in the heat.
Although players have blacked out, staggered,
hallucinated and vomited on court this week, tour-
nament officials have defended their decision to
only halt play once during the four-day heatwave.
Tournament doctor Tim Wood said that while it
may not be "terribly comfortable" to play in these
conditions, it s safe from a medical perspective. (AP)
No respite as
sizzles for 4th day
MELBOURNE---Novak Djokovic extended
his winning streak to 27 matches and stayed
on track for a fourth consecutive Australian
Open title with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 win yesterday
over Denis Istomin.
Djokovic, whose last defeat came against
Rafael Nadal in the US Open final in Sep-
tember, is aiming to be the first player to win
four Australian Open titles in a row in the
And he is looking the part, despite being
broken in his first attempt to clinch the match
He has won all three matches so far in
straight sets and his major threats---top-seed-
ed Nadal, Wimbledon champion Andy Mur-
ray and 17-time Grand Slam singles champion
Roger Federer---are in the other half of the
Before rain cooled things off at Melbourne
Park, Serena Williams persevered through a
fourth day of searing temperatures to also
Five-time champion Williams equalled
Margaret Court s Australian Open mark of
60 match wins with her second-round vic-
tory, and beat that in the third round when
she also matched Lindsay Davenport s record
of 69 main-draw matches here in the Open
Tomorrow, she ll play former No. 1-ranked
Ana Ivanovic, who beat 2011 US Open cham-
pion Sam Stosur 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-2.
Williams withdrew from the doubles with
her sister Venus, avoiding any extra exposure
to the blazing sun during the once-in-a-
century heatwave that had gripped Melbourne
for nearly all of the first week.
The temperature hit 39 Celsius (102 Fahren-
heit) during Williams match and topped 42
C (108 F) by the mid-afternoon, but humidity
remained low and there was no reason for
organisers to invoke the Extreme Heat Policy
and suspend matches for the second day in
It dipped to 32 C (90 F) before the night
matches as a cool change kicked in, and con-
tinued to drop before play ended yesterday.
The forecast for the weekend and most of
next week was for cool and cloudy condi-
Williams has won 24 matches dating back
to August, carrying momentum from her
dominating 2013 into a new season. She won
78 of her 82 matches and won 11 titles last
year, and seems to be getting better with age.
In earlier women s play, Li Na, a two-time
finalist here and a major threat to top-ranked
Williams in the top half of the women s draw,
had to save a match point before coming
back to beat No. 26-seeded Lucie Safarova
1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 in two hours, 37 minutes.
No. 9 Angelique Kerber advanced earlier
with a 6-3, 6-4 win over American Alison
Riske, and said her main aim had been to
"get off the court before it became really
No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova advanced with
a 6-4, 6-4 win over Monica Niculescu and
No. 30 Eugenie Bouchard beat American
Lauren Davis 6-2, 6-2 to set up a fourth-
round match against Australian wild-card
entry Casey Dellacqua, who beat 2010 semi-
finalist Zheng Jie of China 6-2, 6-4.
In night men s matches, No. 15 Fabio Fogni-
ni beat American Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-4, 6-
4 and will play Djokovic tomorrow in the
fourth round. No. 17 Tommy Robredo defeated
No. 9 Richard Gasquet 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 7-6
(6) and to set up a fourth-round match against
a well rested Stanislas Warwinka.
Third-seeded David Ferrer beat No. 29
Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-2 and next
plays Florian Mayer, who beat No. 20 Jerzy
Janowicz 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
No. 7 Tomas Berdych beat Bosnian qualifier
Damir Dzumhur 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 to set up a
Sunday clash with No. 19 Kevin Anderson,
who beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin 3-6, 4-6,
6-3, 7-6 (5), 7-5. (AP)
Djokovic, Williams into
4th round in Australia
of Serbia reaches
for a shot to
Denis Istomin of
during their third
round match at
Djokovic won 6-3,
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