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U.S. Open: Day Three

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Victoria Azarenka of Belarus collapses on the court during her match against Gisela Dulko of Argentina during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 1, 2010. Azarenka was unable to continue the match. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

By Helen Cook and Josh Hargreaves

Earlier in the day tournament talk swirled around the moment Victoria Azarenka collapsed in a heap on court under the searing sun at just 11:30 a.m., but the heat took a back seat in the evening matches when the best American hopeful in the men’s draw Andy Roddick stumbled to a bad-tempered second round exit.

Roddick, who was called for a foot-fault in the third set, went off on both the lineswomen and the chair umpire, with his best line being, “What is this, call 1-800-RENT-A-REF?”

He later apologized for his behavior, saying he was attempting to change the momentum of the match, and although his tactic didn’t work, that was a pretty good line.

Earlier Azarenka was taken off court in a wheelchair mid-match, the incident fueled the safety discussion surrounding the temperatures – which reached 32 degrees when Azarenka crumpled and on-court temperatures topped 37 degrees. But doctors say the heat was not the only reason for the frightening episode.

U.S. Open: Day Two

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Novak Djokovic of Serbia tries to cool off during a break in his match against compatriot ViktorTroicki during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, August 31,  2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar

By Helen Cook and Josh Hargreaves

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.

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