In a move to improve the conditions for the players in extreme temperature, the upcoming Australian Open has released its new extreme heat policy (EHP) ahead of a scorching summer.
“The well-being of all players at the Australian Open is our utmost priority and we have developed the Australian Open Heat Stress Scale after months of research and testing,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.
Tennis Australia in a release said, “A more EHP is set to be introduced at Australian Open 2019 as a result of cutting-edge research and testing into the specific effects of heat stress on tennis players.”
The research, conducted by Tennis Australia medical personnel in conjunction with the Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory at the University of Sydney, has led to the development of the AO Heat Stress Scale (AO HSS).
Under the 2019 Extreme Heat Policy:
- The Tournament Referee will allow a 10-minute break between the second and third sets in both women’s and junior singles matches and a 15-minute break in wheelchair singles matches when a four (4.0) is recorded on the AO HSS prior to or during the first two sets of the match.
- In the men’s singles a 10-minute break will be allowed after the third set when a four (4.0) is recorded on the AO HSS prior to or during the first-three sets of the match.
- If a five (5.0) is recorded on the AO HSS, the Tournament Referee can suspend the start of matches on outside courts and all matches in progress continuing until the end of an even number of games in that set, or completion of the tiebreak, before play will be suspended.
- Matches on Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and Melbourne Arena will stop after an even number of games in that set or completion of the tiebreak when the Tournament Referee can decide to close the roof for the remainder of the match and the following matches, when the EHP is still in effect.