Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match

Andy Murray admitted the heat was tough after match in 2013

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The Independent Online

A tennis fan is attempting to sue Australian Open organisers for allegedly not providing enough shade for fans watching an Andy Murray match in sweltering heat.

Susan Carman, 57, alleges that she fell down the stairs in Melbourne’s Hinsense Arena while trying to get out of the blazing sun as temperatures hit 40C in 2013, the Herald Sun reported.

Murray himself commented on the extreme conditions when he came off court, after beating Portugal's Joao Sousa in the second round.

“There were very few long rallies, so it worked out well for me because they were really, really tough conditions,” he said.

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Fans trying to cool off with mist during the 2014 Australian Open

“When the sun came out, it was extremely hot. When it wasn't, it was fine…I've played in worse conditions, but it's still very hot.“

Britain’s top male player, seeded sixth this year, beat Sousa again in another straight-sets victory at the same tournament on Friday, easing into the fourth round.

The sun was also Mrs Carman’s chief complaint. She argues that the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust (MOPT) was negligent because staff failed to shut the arena’s retractable roof to shade the crowd.

Her claim has been submitted to the County Court, with documents reportedly listing injuries including a fractured left ankle and shin, ligament damage and scarring.

Mrs Carman is seeking an undisclosed amount of damages to cover lost income, distress and to compensate family members who cared for her.

Dimi Ioannou, the head of representing law firm Maurice Blackburn, told the Herald Sun organisers had a duty to keep spectators safe.

“She was a tennis fan but she hasn’t returned since the accident. It’s been traumatic for her,” she said.

A spokesperson for MOPT declined to comment on the specifics of the case but said it “takes the comfort and safety of patrons extremely seriously, with a significant amount of shade provided across the precinct for the Australian Open”.

A County Court trial is due to begin in February next year.

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