An “extreme heat policy” went into effect during the afternoon of the Australian Open tennis tournament on Thursday, stopping play for more than four hours as players were seriously shaken by the weather.
A suffering Australian heat wave caused the temperature to rise above 104 degrees Fahrenheit in Melbourne during the event’s fourth day, reported CNN.
Several competitors this week have needed medical attention during and after their matches. Canada’s Frank Dancevic fainted and China’s Peng Shuai vomited while playing on Tuesday. Britain’s Jamie Murray, brother of 2013 Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, collapsed after his doubles match victory Thursday and Varvara Lepchenko of the U.S. needed a medical timeout during her loss.
Even those who played under a roof in Melbourne, such as Poland’s Agnieszka Radwańska, were affected:
“Today was really, really hard. Even indoors, it was ridiculous. Everybody is talking about it. We try to prepare for the weather, to do everything we can to survive, but it’s tough. Sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes you’re not. You just have to fight with yourself and then with your opponent. The weather pushes you to do it.”
Elsewhere in the country, the heat wave is creating electricity demands and wildfire danger, Bloomberg News reports.
This early-year temperature spike comes after 2013 was declared to be Australia’s hottest year on record by the country’s Bureau of Meteorology.