Australian Bernard Tomic said the English heat has reduced him to three hours sleep a night and said there had been locker room talk about the men getting the same 35-minute heat break as the women, as he prepares to face Novak Djokovic in the mens’ singles third round.
Tomic progressed by overcoming the threat of the Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, a player who displayed glimpses of his immense touch in a close first set, but said that he would need more than a god night’s sleep to beat him.
Herbert’s serve and volley game was at its best in that first set, before two fluffed forehand volleys in a tie-break saw the Australian No 1 – part of a strong antipodean contingent – begin to take command. A searing cross-court forehand return by Tomic and a misjudgement by the Frenchman, who anticipated a return falling beyond the baseline, allowed Tomic another break of serve in the second set which he won 6-4. Herbert kept the game tight but Tomic closed out by wining a third set tie-break.
“I was dizzy out there,” Tomic said. "I didn’t sleep well yesterday or the day before. Probably getting three or four hours of sleep. I was fatigued and starting to get dizzy out there with the heat hitting me. It was tough, so I had to slow things down. I had to catch my breath. Hopefully I can get an hour’s sleep in tonight. I just haven’t been sleeping well here. It’s been too hot.”
Of the notion of a heat break for the men’s game, he said: “I was actually talking about that in the locker room. It’s a bit interesting how the women have a different rule applied to them with the heat, which is interesting. I think we are allowed to play in more hear. Is it fair or not? Who am I to say? I don’t know. It’s a tough one.”