Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Players Swelter but Ferrell Says Drink Soup!

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Players Swelter but Ferrell Says Drink Soup!

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Newman in Melbourne

NOVAK DJOKOVIC described the heat as "brutal" and his beaten opponent, Gael Monfils, said he had never played in such tough conditions as the players sweltered in temperatures that peaked at just under 40C here today.

"I was dying on the court for 40 minutes," Monfils said after losing 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 to the former world No1. "It was tough to breathe. I think it was the hardest [conditions] I have played in. No matter how much you train in the heat, no matter how much you like the heat, it's very tough."

Monfils repeatedly asked the umpire to abandon the 25-seconds-betweenpoints rule. "I got super-dizzy," the Frenchman said. "I tried to cool down, but even with ice towel and water, I think my body was super-warm."

Djokovic thought the conditions were "right at the limit" in terms of being a danger to health. "It was brutal," he said. "It was about just hanging in there."

The temperature is expected to climb to 42C tomorrow, but the tournament's heat rule, under which matches are suspended, is unlikely to be invoked because the humidity is predicted to be low. …

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