Okay, maybe not here in New York, where we’re currently experiencing a blistering 19°. But it’s like that expression, “It’s five o’ clock somewhere.” It’s currently Summer in Earth’s southern hemisphere.
This isn’t your ordinary Summer, as Australia is taking the brunt of an extreme heatwave. This has made playing conditions at the Australian Open difficult. There’s the understatement of the century. Temperatures on Wednesday in Melbourne reached 104°. Walking, talking, and breathing is difficult in temperatures over 100°. Imagine having to play a 3-hour tennis match….
Novak Djokovic Vs. Gael Monfils
Gael Monfils, pictured above, had the daunting task of facing Novak Djokovic in the 2nd round. After taking the 1st set, 6-4, off Djokovic, Monfils wilted in the sun. He dropped the next 3 sets, 3-6, 1-6, 3-6. Monfils, who was visibly affected by the heat had this to say after the match, “It was tough to breathe. Yeah, I think it was the hardest match I’ve played. I got super dizzy. I think I had a heat stroke on the court for about 40 minutes.”
Stan Wawrinka Vs. Tennys Sandgren
Tennys just capped off the biggest win of his career. Yes, his real name is Tennys. Moments ago, he took down 9th ranked, Stan Wawrinka, in straight sets (6-2, 6-1, 6-4). Tennys, from Tennessee (you can’t make this stuff up), is ranked 97th in the world. Wawrinka, playing in his 1st tournament since his knee surgery in August, didn’t stand a chance against Tennys. The match lasted just 1 hour and 29 minutes.
Upsets Running Wild
The 2nd round hasn’t been kind to the Women’s Draw. Wednesday saw 5 of the top-25 women get upset. Wednesday’s most notable ousting was 3rd ranked, Garbine Muguruza, falling to Su-Wei Hsieh (7-6, 6-4), the 88th ranked player in the world. With Venus Williams losing early on, and Serena Williams not playing due to health concerns, the Women’s Draw is as open as I can remember. Or, maybe Simona Halep, the #1 ranked woman in the world, will have her way with the Australian Open.
Federer cruised to victory earlier today in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6, against 53rd ranked, Jan-Lennard Struff. Federer, at 36, continues to defy logic, father time, and medicine. The question is, does he have enough left in the tank to win another Grand Slam?? I don’t know. But I will never doubt Roger Federer.
15-Year Old Phenom
There is a 15-year old taking the Australian Open by storm. Marta Kostyuk, of the Ukraine is ranked 521st in the world. In her 1st Grand Slam appearance, she has advanced to the 3rd round, becoming the youngest player to reach the 3rd round of the Australian Open since Martina Hingis in 1996. She’ll take on 4th ranked, Elina Svitolina, on Friday at 12:00 A.M. EST.
Oh yeah, it’s going to get even hotter on Friday, with temperatures expected to top out at 108°. Stay tuned to see if play is halted by officials due to unsafe court conditions.
Would you play tennis in 108° weather?? Post your feelings in the comment section below.