Thu, Jan 16, 12:07am by Brad McGrath
For a second consecutive day the thermometer reached over 40 degrees and for a second successive day there was a chorus of disapproval.
Croatian Ivan Dodig became the ninth player to withdraw from the grand slam event, after eight called it quits in the opening round.
Wimbledon champion Andy Murray said player safety must take precedence when the weather reaches extreme temperatures.
“It’s definitely something that you have to look at a bit,” he told the Age.
“As much as it’s easy to say the conditions are safe, it only takes one bad thing to happen. And it looks terrible for the whole sport when people are collapsing, ball kids are collapsing, people in the stands are collapsing. That’s not great.
“I know when I went out to hit before the match, the conditions at 2.30, 3pm were very, very tough. Whether it’s safe or not, I don’t know. There’s been some issues in other sports with players having heart attacks.”
SEVERAL prominent Australians have tumbled out of the Australian Open but the biggest drawcards in the game have largely gone unscathed despite the soaring temperatures at Melbourne Park.
Lleyton Hewitt put on a typically gutsy display against no.24 seed Andreas Seppi of Italy before losing in five thrilling sets.
The 32-year-old was down two sets to love before having a match point in the fifth set. Seppi fought bravely to defeat the dogged Australian 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 7-5.
The pair were on court for over four hours as they grinded it out from the baseline in a match played in temperatures that reached over 40 degrees.
Fellow Australian Bernard Tomic was forced to withdraw from his centre court match against world no.1 Rafael Nadal after suffering a groin injury, which he later explained was a recurrence of an injury he suffered at the Sydney International a week earlier.
Tomic struggled with the groin from his opening service game and withdrew after Nadal took the opening set.
Just a few courts away, the future of Australian tennis Thanasi Kokkinakis was recording an exciting win over world no.73, Dutchman Igor Sijsling.
The 17-year-old battled cramp for most of the final set before emerging 7-6 (4), 0-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 ahead.
His close mate and fellow youngster Nick Kyrgios was also impressive in winning his opening round match, defeating Germany’s Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 7-6 (7-2).
Krygios, 18, defeated Becker in four closely fought sets with the Canberra-based player now facing a tough match against Benoit Paire, of France.
Great Britain’s Andy Murray had little trouble accounting for Japan’s Go Soeda 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 in his opening match.
Former champion Roger Federer was also in ominous touch, with the 17 time grand slam champion defeating Australia’s ‘s James Duckworth 6-4 6-4 6-2.
Serena Williams has eased into the third round of the tournament with a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 win over Serbian Vesna Dolonc.
The champion American had moved into the second round with an easy victory over Australian youngster Ashleigh Barty.
Casey Dellacqua continued her resurgence with an 6-3, 6-0 win over German Kirsten Flipkins.
Dellacqua has fought back into the top 100 after injuries, which mainly occurred in 2010, curtailed her promising career that peaked with a ranking of no.39 in the world.
The great Australian hope Sam Stosur easily moved into the third round with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Italian Tsvetana Pironkova.
Stosur has looked completely at ease on centre court this year, dropping just nine games in her opening two matches, after her well documented struggles with coping with the pressure associated with her home grand slam last year.
www.IASasbet.com is offering some enticing markets during the Australian open including an option to pick the finalists.
A Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic final is the shortest price at $2.55 but the most enticing is a Djokovic-Roger Federer final at $10.20.
Federer was super-impressive in dismissing Australian James Duckworth in the opening round and had little trouble coping with the harsh Australian climate.
IASbet.com is offering plenty of options throughout the tournament including head-to-head betting, live betting and a market for top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic to not drop a set for the tournament.
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