Aus Open may review heat policy

Australian Open officials say they are willing to review their Extreme Heat Policy.

Updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Melbourne:Australian Open officials say they are willing to review their Extreme Heat Policy after some players said scorching temperatures in Melbourne this week were too hot to play in. Top-seeded Maria Sharapova said she was delusional during her three-hour first round match on Tuesday, which continued despite competition on all outside courts being postponed as the temperature soared to more than 40 degree celcius. The rules require matches that have already started when the heat policy is invoked to continue, while new matches are postponed until the mercury falls below a threshold determined by ambient temperature and humidity. Two players retired from their matches because of the heat on Tuesday, and while some said the rules should be changed, others said high temperatures gave them an advantage. Officials say the policy was introduced in 1998 after consultations with players, and that referees retain the right to stop matches if they think a player's health is threatened for whatever reason, including heat. Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said organizers were willing to consider changing the policy if that's what players wanted. "This is something we will review, no question," Tiley said. "We will listen to the players and we have to look at the best way to protect our players."

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