Tennis: Murray criticises 'inhumane' organisers

Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan is attended to by medical staff in her first round match against Sloane Stephens of the United States. Photo / Getty Images.
Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan is attended to by medical staff in her first round match against Sloane Stephens of the United States. Photo / Getty Images.

Australian Open organisers have been labelled "inhumane" for their decision to let play go ahead despite incredibly hot conditions on the second day of action.

Temperatures went above 42 degrees Celsius in Melbourne today, leading to Canadian player Frank Dancevic and a ball boy collapsing on court. Peng Shuai of China vomited and suffered cramp in her defeat to Kurumi Nara.

Among those in action was Andy Murray, who despite cruising through his first round match against Japan's Go Soeda 6-1, 6-1, 6-3, was critical of organisers.

"It doesn't look good for the sport when people are collapsing," said the British number one, who was fortunate enough to play on the Hisense Arena which provides shade for competitors.

"Most of the players are conditioned well enough to last in that weather but doing it for three or four hours is tough to recover from."

Murray went on to question the safety of players if play continues to be allowed to go on.

"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."

Dancevic, who was playing on one of the exposed courts, required medical attention after passing out for a minute.

"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, passing out," the Canadian told reporters after his defeat to Benoit Paire.

"I've played five-set matches all my life and being out there for a set and a half and passing out with heatstroke, it's not normal.

"Until somebody dies, they're just keep going on with it and putting matches on in this heat."

Organisers said temperatures peaked at 42.2 degrees Celsius in the early evening but, taking into account the low humidity, the threshold for calling off play had not been reached.

"There were a few players who experienced heat-related illness or discomfort, but none required significant medical intervention after they had completed their match," said tournament doctor Tim Wood.

-THE INDEPEDNENT

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