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Levy Lets Fly: Australian Open heat policy should be left to players

Macquarie Sports Radio Breakfast


Mark Levy has offered up a solution to dealing with extreme heat at the Australian Open.

The tournament recently moved to a new heat-stress scale, which ranks conditions from 1 to 5 on a sliding scale.

If the reading reaches a five, play is suspended on the outside courts while the roof is closed on major courts.

The scale was used for the first time on Thursday during the women’s semifinals, where Rod Laver Arena’s roof was shut during the first set of the match between Danielle Collins and Petra Kvitova.

Levy said players and the chair umpire should be able to decide if it’s safe to play or not.

“It’s not rocket science, if both players agree at the start of a match that the roof should be closed, make the call and order the roof to be shut,” he said.

“On the outside courts, leave the decision to the players to stop a match because of the heat and if they’re undecided, let the chair umpire decide in consultation with the line judges and ballkids.

He said heat stroke was as important to deal with as concussion in sport.

“Heat stroke is among the leading causes of death in young adults and teens, predominantly from practices and sporting events outdoors,” he said.

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Macquarie Sports Radio Breakfast