Australian Open 2014: Eggs frying on court, spectacular thunder storms and extreme heat - just another day in Melbourne

Play was suspended for four hours due to the extreme conditions

With flashes of thunder and lightning, soaring temperatures and the ability to fry an egg on the court surface, the impact of a heatwave at the Australian Open has produced quite a spectacle.

Temperatures in some areas of Melbourne Park were recorded at a sizzling 42 degrees Centigrade on Thursday, causing play to be suspended as players struggled to cope with the difficult conditions. Stars such as Andy Murray and Serena Williams have both expressed their dissatisfaction at the lack of protection from the competition's referee, Wayne McEwen, this week.

McEwen eventually enforced a four-hour suspension of play after a thunderstorm hit Melbourne, before resuming proceedings around 6pm local time. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have all come through their matches with consummate ease as they cruised into the third round, but other players have not been so lucky.

Canadian player Frank Dancevic, who fainted during his match against Benoit Paire before crashing out in the first round, labelled the conditions as "inhumane." There were nine retirements in the first round alone - equalling the record for most retirements in a single round in the Open era.

Among the retirees was Bernard Tomic, who was forced to quit his match with top seed Rafael Nadal after picking up a groin injury. Other notable withdrawals included Tommy Haas, Alex Bogomolov Jr. and John Isner as this week's weather took its toll on the fatigued players.

 

Ivan Dodig, seeded 32nd in the tournament, became the 10th player to pull out after trailing Bosnian qualifier Damir Dzumhur 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 4-1. The 29-year-old said after the match he felt he "was going to die" and claimed that he "could not walk for 30 minutes after the match", raising concerns about the welfare of the players on court.

But the weather has not just affected the physicality of the players. Alize Cornet broke down in tears after becoming overwhelmed by the conditions, and even volunteers were affected, with a ball-boy requiring medical attention from the doctor on site on Monday.

Australian breakfast show Sunrise uploaded a picture on their Twitter account to give their viewers a visual sense of just how unbearable the weather was - by frying an egg on the surface of the court. Forecasters say that temperatures are set to continue at around 40C on Friday before cooling down to around 20C for the remainder of the tournament.

The news from Melbourne on Thursday...
Murray comes through in straight sets
Play on day four suspended for four hours
Jamie Murray suffers heatstroke
Nadal continues his Aussie domination
Federer plays away from Rod Laver Arena for first time in 10 years
Sharapova comes through epic match
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Life and Style
A general view during the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Earl's Court exhibition centre on 2 December, 2014 in London, England
fashionIt's not all about the catwalks: the big changes of the past year can be summed up in six clothing items
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?