Simona Halep hospitalised after Australian Open final defeat

Tennis Australia defend decision not to close roof after Romanian suffers dehydration

Simona Halep was hospitalised with dehydration following her Australian Open final defeat by Caroline Wozniacki, forcing tournament officials to explain why the roof was left open at the Rod Laver Arena.

According to Tennis Australia, who released a statement on Sunday, the roof was left open because the wet bulb globe temperature – a mixture of temperature and humidity – did not pass the required threshold of 32.5C to close it.

Halep, who needed the intervention of the doctor during her 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 defeat by Wozniacki, is understood to have spent four hours in hospital on Saturday evening.

After defeat, Halep said: “Of course I’m sad I couldn’t win today but Caroline was better than me. For sure, I will fight and I have many years to go. Hopefully I will face another challenge like today.”

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A statement from Tennis Australia said: “During the afternoon the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) index reading was above the threshold of 32.5C, and was closely monitored. At 6.30pm it was 32.7C. With no dramatic reduction in the WBGT reading forecast (the 8.30pm forecast was 32.5C) the referee exercised his discretion and called for the roof to be closed. “At 7.29pm it was 32.5C, and at 7.32pm, when the umpire called time to commence the match, it was 32.6C.

“The tournament referee made this decision based on qualified and professional advice from the Bureau of Meteorology who are on site, and the tournament’s chief medical officer.

“Based on their advice, and the fact that the WBGT reading had been above the 32.5C threshold for a considerable period of time, and was forecast to be at 32.5C at 8.30pm, the tournament referee used his discretion to invoke the extreme heat policy and close the roof prior to play. At no other time during the event this year has the WBGT reading reached the threshold.”

(Guardian service)