Tennis

Australian Open organisers criticised after player collapses

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Australian Open organisers have come under fire for forcing players to continue to compete despite temperatures exceeding 42º celsius.

One tennis player, Canada's Frank Dancevic, collapsed during play and required urgent medical attention after struggling with the sweltering heat.

Dancevic was incensed with the organisers of the Australian Open, telling ESPN: "Having players with so many problems and complaining to the tournament that it's too hot to play, until somebody dies, they just keep going on with it and putting matches on in this heat."

Elsewhere, a ball boy also passed out due to heat exhaustion and required medical attention.

Dancevic added, "I think 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 and passing out.

"I've played five-set matches all my life and being out there for a set and a half and passing out with heat-stroke is not normal."

Some measures have been taken to cater for the health and safety for all involved in the tournament.

Ball boys have had their shifts shortened, ice vests are readily available for players and organisers are said to have a sophisticated weather guide informing them when conditions become unplayable.

Andy Murray was one of those players in action as temperatures soared in the afternoon but the Scot was still able to defeat Go Soeda 6-1 6-1 6-3 to progress to the second round.

Murray told BBC Sport: ""It doesn't look good for the sport when people are collapsing.

"Whether it's safe, I don't know, but there have been issues in other sports with players collapsing and you don't want to see anything bad happen to anyone."

With the heat set to continue throughout the week the Australian Open organisers will want to avoid similar events going forwards.

It can be difficult to appreciate how hot it really is in Melbourne but former women's world number one Caroline Wozniacki's plastic water bottle actually melted on court in the heat.

The tournament is the first Grand Slam of the year and elite performers from across the world have arrived to try and win the trophy.

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Topics:
Tennis
Andy Murray

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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