When you settle down to watch your favourite tennis stars battle it out at Wimbledon this week, spare a thought for the fact that they’re playing in stifling 41C heat.
The heatwave the country’s currently experiencing causes real problems for players.
So no wonder Wimbledon champ Andy Murray’s mother Judy has called for equality over heat break rules.
Her son played in the first round Tuesday against Mikhail Kukushkin. While the Women’s Tennis Association rules allow for a 10-minute break between the second and third sets when the heat stress index rises above 30.1C; there are no such breaks for the men.
Wednesday’s temperatures exceeded 35C, and heat readings are taken half an hour before the men play and then at 2pm and 5pm.
In contrast, the WTA rule is applied on a case-by-case basis before matches.
Wimbledon tournament referee Andrew Jarrett said on Tuesday the WTA heat rule had been implemented twice before in SW19 – in 2006 and 2009. Unsurprisingly, the Australian Open upholds a separate extreme heat policy, when temperatures move past 40C.
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