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SBD Global/January 17, 2014/Events and Attractions
Maria Sharapova Wants 'Unplayable Conditions' Defined After Three Hour-Plus Victory
Published January 17, 2014
DECISION CORRECT, OVERDUE: Also in Sydney, Richard Hinds opined Andy Murray had "warned on Tuesday that someone might have a heart attack if Australian Open officials continued to insist players toil away" in the 43 degrees Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) heat. So "lacking in charisma is the Scot that, should he be the first player to expire, it could take spectators some time to notice." But the "straight talking Murray made a good point." Because tennis is "only a game," the decision to "protect the health of players, officials and spectators should have been easy." Although, a "few sceptics had muttered, slightly less easy when you are beholden to TV paymasters and trying to keep the turnstiles clicking." Common sense "finally prevailed on Thursday." Fortunately this "was not prompted by the death of some overwrought clay-courter." Actually, other other than the "reading of the dubious and vaguely rude sounding 'wet bulb globe,' it was difficult to tell why the policy was enacted." Perhaps they had "run out of ice vests or the air-conditioner in the office of tournament director Wayne McEwen's had gone on the blink" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 1/17).
'MISSING COMMON SENSE': SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's Jon Wertheim commented, "For all the jokes and throwaway lines that flew around Melbourne Park earlier in the week, Thursday turned gravely serious. In kiln-like conditions, players took the court at 11 a.m. It was the hottest day yet, which is saying something: Triple-digit temperatures with no wind or cloud cover, temperatures on court eclipsing 120 degrees. These weren't tennis matches so much as they were physical battles, sadistic tests of the outer limits of human endurance." Wertheim also took organizers to task, writing, "As devastating as the heat has been, the reaction by the sport's officials has been comparably brutal. Double-speak. Vagueness. An absence of common sense. This was tennis -- fractious and fractured -- at its worst" (SI, 1/16).