Sport

Novak Djokovic overcomes Gael Monfils in four sets

Novak Djokovic overcomes Gael Monfils in four sets”

The Australian Open has copped criticism from outraged fans for its heat policy as players were forced to play in temperatures approaching 40 degrees.

Monfils suspected that he suffered a heat stroke in his outing against Novak Djokovic Thursday, when the thermometer - according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology - peaked at 39.9 degrees Celsius in Melbourne.

"I got super dizzy", said Monfils, who fell to his 15th straight defeat by the 12-time grand slam victor.

He went on to lose the match in four sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 and said he and Djokovic "took a risk" by staying out there.

"Maybe too hot", Monfils said.

"It puts you so much pressure with the heat, then you rush". I think I have a small heat stroke for 40 minutes.

Even six-time Australian Open champion Djokovic described the weather as "brutal".

The 2014 Australian Open champion spent eight weeks on crutches following his surgery, and pulled out of an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi two weeks before the Australian Open.

Djokovic, who has had his fair share of struggles in the heat during his career, said: "It was obvious that we both suffered on the court". "Really tough conditions. Brutal".

"I was coming into the match knowing it was going to be a big challenge for both of us".

"Gael is one of the best athletes in our sport but he was not at his best in the second and third sets".

Djokovic was asked if play should continue in such heat. That didn't happen Thursday.

Extreme heat - and the decision to play or not to play - is, indeed, complex and hard to understand.

Djokovic later told reporters the heat rule should be revisited since players were being pushed to the limit.

That decision is taken when the ambient temperature exceeds 40 degrees and the wet bulb globe temperature index exceeds 32.5 degrees.

"I think there are certain days where you just have to, as a tournament supervisor, recognise that you might need to give players few extra hours until (the temperature) comes down".

"You're a part of the industry", Djokovic said.

"It's the beginning of the season. Could not, you know, be very fresh after any points, so it was tougher". "But there is a limit of being fit to play and being, I think, in danger to your health". "It was right at the limit".

Monfils spared a thought for those in action Friday.

"Honestly, good luck for the guys", he said.

'For sure, you know, we took risk.

"I'm so happy to be playing in Melbourne after many years".

The 12-time Grand Slam champion managed to win just 71 and 25 percent of the first and second serve respectively in the opening set. The Swiss star is ranked and seeded ninth, Sandgren is 97th.

Like Muguruza, Konta endured fitness concerns in the build up to the year's first major, retiring in the Brisbane quarterfinals with a hip injury prior to a first-round exit in Sydney. "We were also getting into some long exchanges and rallies".

"I didn't expect to play this kind of match, I prefer to watch on TV", joked the 29-year-old, a twice quarter-finalist in Melbourne, during his post-match interview on court. Ramos-Vinolas hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the third time in his career.

"I wanted to be here".

But I do believe, if you break it down layman's terms, an official can stop play when it gets really hot. "Yeah, it's great to be back".

Pera was born in Croatia and moved to the U.S. when she was 16, deciding to represent the U.S. She is one of only four American women to reach the second round - the fewest number since 2011. He lost both five-setters he played a year ago at the majors to Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon and to Juan Martin del Potro at the U.S. Open.

Wild-card entry Julien Benneteau has had an upset 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1, 7-6 (4) victory over seventh-seeded David Goffin, winning the last five points in the tiebreaker in a third-round match.



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