Special heat rules implemented for US Open players

Both male and female players will get extra 10-minute break amid 32C heat

Novak Djokovic  takes a break from the heat while playing against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary during their Day 2 match in New York. Photograph: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic takes a break from the heat while playing against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary during their Day 2 match in New York. Photograph: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

 

A second day of stifling heat and humidity caused havoc at the US Open on Tuesday, prompting tournament organisers to implement special rules to provide some relief for suffering players.

With temperatures soaring well above 90 Fahrenheit (32C) amid crushing humidity, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced that the 10-minute heat break the women players are granted between the second and third sets of their matches would now be extended to the men as well.

“Upon the recommendation of the US Open medical team, the Extreme Heat Policy will be implemented immediately for men’s matches,” the USTA said in a statement.

“The men will be offered a 10-minute break between the third and fourth set.

“The Tournament Referee, along with the medical team, will continue to monitor on-site conditions, to determine when the Extreme Heat Policy will no longer be in effect.”

One fan collapsed in the stands at the sun-exposed court 17 during Petra Kvitova’s win over Yanina Wickmayer, causing the chair umpire to halt play while emergency medical personnel attended.

Elsewhere fans crowded into the shady sections of the tournament’s two stadiums and fanned themselves furiously while taking in the first-round action.

Drink water

Organisers urged everyone attending the 50th edition of the tournament in Flushing Meadows Park to drink plenty of water and use sunscreen to protect themselves.

Yet they said they would not close the roof on either of the two stadiums due to the heat.

The new 14,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium does not have an air conditioning system but relies on a first-of-its-kind natural ventilation system, which will be severely put to the test.

The roofs on Arthur Ashe stadium and Louis Armstrong stadium will likely be shut on Friday, however, as rain is forecast and expected to bring relief from the heat. It could also throw a wrench in the tournament’s busy schedule.

As for the players who have to cope with the sweltering conditions, it is all part of the brutal test that is the fourth and final Grand Slam of the year.

“It’s one of the reasons the US Open is the toughest test in tennis,” USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier told Reuters on Tuesday.

Several players requested medical attention due to the heat during their matches on Monday while some on the women’s side opted to take advantage of the 10-minute heat break.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.