The Reuters global sports blog
U.S. Open: Day Two
It was a battle of the sweat on court during day two – even the fans gave up and went in search of shade.
There was a lot of tired screams and exhausted slumps in chairs as the 95 degree heat hit the courts hard. The baking got so intense at Flushing Meadows the tournament referee had to invoke the Extreme Weather Policy for the women’s matches. Even Jelena Jankovic resorted to an ice pack on top of her head during one break.
One tweeter – lizzieleaf - commented: “i’d have expected djokovic, who ranks third in the world, to be fit enough to deal with the heat *shrugs*”. But I know I wouldn’t survive 10 minutes at Arthur Ashe with a sweaty racket in hand, gasping for air. So well done to all who took to the court in this global warming heatwave hitting New York this week.
Ironically, there were a lot of five-setters on day two – you would have thought they would want to be off the melting court as quick as possible. But for those who had the best seats in the house – in the shade – they got to see some impressive tennis.
The crowd was on the edge of their seats for the epic five-setter from number three seed Novak Djokovic. He struggled against fellow countryman – and doppelganger - Viktor Troicki of Serbia. I bet both were relieved when the umpire called “game, set and match”. Djokovic gasped through to the second round 6-3 3-6 2-6 7-5 6-3.
Players that were lucky enough to play during the evening still had to deal with high temperatures, but got a respit from the glaring sun. Rafael Nadal surely would have avoided wearing an all black outfit had his match been scheduled during the afternoon. Nadal won easily, and although the rising mercury didn’t seem to bother him, maybe he should be worried about his gnarly foot.
With the temperature being the big story of day two, it bears keeping tabs on how this effects players who were forced to play during the sweltering heat opposed to those who had the slight advantage playing after sunset under the lights.
Temperatures are expected to be sweltering again tomorrow. Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters, who will both play under the lights, could have a decided advantage as the Open progresses.
For more tennis news check out our dedicated U.S. Open page.