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Tennis: When the heat is on... ... you could try a lettuce leaf under your hat

These are hardly salad days for the likes of Steffi Graff and Pete Sampras, who have both found the stifling heat of Melbourne heavy going. But advice to tackle the oppressive on-court temperatures is being offered by the Australian cyclist Alan Iacuone. When the heat is on, he puts a lettuce leaf on his head.

On the day that Sampras sweltered through five sets at the Australian Open, Iacuone completed victory in a five-day race and then revealed the secret of his success.

Munching a salad before the concluding hour-long stage, Iacuone decided to put the lettuce under his helmet. Its high water content would keep his head cooler, he reasoned after getting the idea from his Spanish team- mates.

Such Spanish practices would not defeat the other heat victim yesterday: the floodlights, which went out for over half an hour during Thomas Muster's match against Jim Courier.