MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia has earned the reputation for being a land of extreme heat: deadly poisonous snakes, insects that kill, crocodiles that kill, torrential downpours, and extreme heat.
Tuesday brought a fair amount of that to the Australian Open, but not as much as the killer bugs, crocodiles, or snakes, though signs warn people to be careful of snakes in the park next to the tennis center. Play was halted for the majority of the afternoon as a result of the intense heat. A torrential downpour in the evening halted play once more.
In keeping with the theme of extremes, Andy Murray, a 35-year-old former world No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam winner, appeared somewhere in the midst of all this weather. 1, somehow, won five sets against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, including a super-tiebreaker in the fifth set that decided the match. The following was the final score line: 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (10-6). The contest lasted for 4 hours and 49 minutes. After skinning his knee while attempting to win the fourth set, Murray, who is in the middle of a long recovery from major hip surgery, saved a match point and played the final set with blood pouring out of his knee.
Murray said in his news conference two hours after he finished, “I feel tired because extreme heat.”
Berrettini praised Murray, stating, “Impressive what he could do after so many surgeries and after all the kilometers that he ran in his career.” It merely demonstrates his enthusiasm for the game and these kinds of contests.
Berrettini and Murray were fortunate. They played in Rod Laver, one of three courts with roofs on this campus. When the organizers announced that temperatures had not reached triple digits, the four climate factors that are taken into consideration when deciding whether to stop play—air temperature, radiant extreme heat, humidity, and wind speed—had all tipped the scale.
Taylor Fritz of the United States, who defeated Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili in four sets, claimed that he had experienced significantly more discomfort at the U.S. Open or in Washington, D.C. earlier this summer.
Fritz, who has spent numerous afternoons in oppressive humidity in Florida, stated, “It’s dry heat.” It’s not nearly as bad, I think.”
The weather disrupted the schedule, and with intermittent rain forecast throughout the evening, it appeared that many games might not conclude until Wednesday because of extreme heat.
Tuesday was not the day for you if you enjoy surprises. The largest was Murray’s. With his big serve and forehand, Berrettini, who finished in the Wimbledon final in 2021 as the 13th seed, can be just as dangerous as Novak Djokovic, who beat Roberto Carballés Baena of Spain in straight sets in the late match on Rod Laver, a court and time slot that Djokovic loves.
Last year, Murray credited a trip to Florida for three weeks to train with Ivan Lendl, the coach who has helped him win many of his biggest victories. Murray stated that the team’s previous success has built trust and given him the confidence he needs to compete with players more than a decade his junior.
The belief is that the tennis gods are after you if you appeared in the Netflix series “Break Point.”
Nick Kyrgios, Paula Badosa, and Ajla Tomljanovic all had significant roles in “Break Point,” but they were forced to withdraw due to injuries. Berrettini is now out. On the other hand, Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime have made it through. The tennis gods eventually appear for everyone, with the exception of one woman and one man.
The 18-year-old American star Coco Gauff faces Emma Raducanu, who qualified for and won the U.S. Open in 2021 and has appeared on magazine covers ever since. This might be the kind of early-round match for which getting up at 3 a.m. would be worthwhile.
Public by world news spot live