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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    The Heat Down Under is bad for Tennis

    I can write this with a fair amount of confidence that I know what I'm talking about having lived in Phoenix Az. being a member of their superb Tennis Community.

    When you think about places in the Country that thrive on Tennis, rarely does one think about Phoenix however you will find a Public Tennis Court on almost every block, many Tennis Clubs and a few indoor facilities.

    Ok, that last statement is what this is all about. Even though Phoenix is great and touts some very competent, competitive Players, playing tennis in the Summer in Phoenix is nothing less than playing tennis in conditions that defy reason.

    I recall playing a tournament at a facility called Mt. View Tennis Center, which is a wonderful place. It was in the dead of Summer where the temp rarely drops below 100 (but it's a dry heat) and aside from having to deal with your Opponent, you have to deal with moving your body from time to time. Some people can do this better than others and I fall firmly in the list of those who could not. For some unknown reason, I found myself in the Finals which was great except on that particular day, it was 112 and I swear my shoes were melting to the Court.

    My opponent was a lefty whom I had previous encounters with and at last count, I was down a match against him so everything was moving in his column to win. It wasn't the competition that bothered me that day, it was that damn heat. I couldn't move my legs to the ball and I remember letting a few shots just go by to conserve energy. My thinking was, as long as I hold serve, I'll let it go all out in the Tie Break. That's a very very risky game strategy but when your skin is cooking so much that you could just pour steak sauce on your arm and eat it, how much aggression can one muster?

    What is happening in Australia is in my opinion something that should be taken seriously and then corrected. And that (WHAT) is moving the Tournament to a time when the Temperature is not at it's peek point of misery. When the defending Champion has to default because the heat is too much to handle or even someone not being able to compete at their very best level, is bad for business. We have only four Grand Slam events per year and two are just not scheduled that assures the very best play we want to see from the very best Players in the World.

    The Australian Open should be move to the end of February
    Wimbledon should be moved back at least another two or more weeks from the French Open to allow our Players better preparation from the Clay Season. Essentially we must decide what we want, is it all about money or should it be about seeing the best Tennis possible?

    That's my argument, what's yours?

    Coach
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  2. #2

    Talking Valley of the sun

    I started playing tennis in Phoenix in the 70,s Tennis is tennis sun is sun.
    We played almost every day in summer as well as winter.
    In Australia i do not think they will ever change the dates.
    My understanding is our school holidays are at that time and this allows for better crowds more money spent. The full spectrum of a commercial venture.
    AS far as the HEAT goes(you can condition for it) These people are being paid the BIG BUCKS. Its part of the Australian open.
    I think there are a lot of ULTRA TRIATHALON,s completed by people 3xtheir age

  3. #3
    Gotta agree with Coach sorry Haretrigger, losing Djokovic was a disgrace and it shouldn't be so much about endurance, more about the tennis.

    If djok was fit he probably would have beaten Roddick and we may have had a totally different final.

    It's all about money and not the players and it's disgusting. The organisers should be very careful, they could lose the Open to Sydney (I hope) or China.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    New England
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    I agree you can better prepare for whatever conditions you will face, like when American Football Teams play the Denver Broncos, they generally have a week to prepare. One Week to acclimated yourself to the thinner air in the Mile High City. Do you really think 1 week is time enough?

    Haretrigger ~ If you lived in Phoenix, then you might know what it's like to play Tennis in Flagstaff, which I did on several occasions. The air in so thin in Flagstaff being even higher in altitude than Denver that after one Set, I was done, I couldn't continue the pace that my game was built upon.

    I understand the thing about Kids & School but the Tournament Organizers and City Officials need to sit down and talk it over. Ok, maybe Tennis doesn't have that much weight to even consider something as radical as changing the date the Australian Open would start but real consideration needs to be taken on what it means when Top Ranked Players falter to the heat.

    Let's consider one last elements of this equation, aside from the heat factors that these Professional Players must contend with, they also have to deal with Jet Lag and Timezone changes. These conditions places a tremendous toll on the body and yet we want the best they have to offer, which at the Australian Open, is not very good.

    Legal Argument:
    Due to the conditions, the Tournament Officials finally decided that maybe they should close the Roof of the main Arena, that changed the conditions of play dramatically and gave the remaining combatant more opportunity to compete at a peak level. Well great but what does that say for those who fell before they relented to this change?

    Had they decided to make this adjustment prior to the Djokovic vs Roddick Match, I firmly believe Djokovic would have won. So it seems to me, Novak has a valid argument should he protest the decision to close the roof due to the heat factor and why didn't they do it when he was clearly having problems dealing with the conditions?

    Not only did his losing cost him the Title but also valuable points given he wasn't able to defend so he will lose a bunch and bonus money that goes to any Defending Champion that successfully defends their Title. So in short, Novak Djokovic got taken at the point they decided to close the roof after he had to default.

    It takes 18 minutes to close the Roof and given he was the Defending Champion, it seems to me had there been a rain delay, the Officials would have delayed the game until that was concluded, so why didn't the Officials say, "Hey, let's close the roof at this time since our Defending Champ is failing because of the incredible heat?"

    They could have delayed the Match for 18 mins and who knows what would have occurred at that point? It would not have given either Player an advantage and would have made the whole affair more pleasurable for the Audience, Players, Referee, Ball Kids and Line Judges alike. It would have been a Win Win for everyone concerned.

    I think Novak Djokovic should file a Lawsuit claiming their decision to close the roof due to the heat conditions after his default caused him Financial, Physical and Emotional Injury.

    Coach
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  5. #5

    Exclamation Not that Simple

    While I agree with much of what was said here, moving the AO is never going to be an option. Remember when the AO was in December??? Most players did not even go because the AO didn't have much status, and the holidays. When they resurrected the AO they copied the USO tactics of rapping it around a holiday weekend before the kids went back to school.

    So asking them to move the dates is the equal of asking the USO to move it's dates; Not Gonna Happen! AO in China NGH! Sydney??? Don't think so as Melbourne has already planned a $500M upgrade to the site to keep that from happening (removable shading on all courts, better grounds, etc.).

    My question in all of this is why they did not use what they already have earlier??? The roof should have been closed when the court temps exceed 100deg, not the air temps. This would at least keep them in the temp ranges of the USO and something players should be conditioned to stand.

    Cheers, TennezSport
    USRSA-MRT; USPTA; USTA
    Yonex RDS002 Tour w/ Tecnifibre X1 Biphase 17 @ 60/57

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Yes TennezSport ~

    Regrettably we all know you are absolutely correct about this and "Thus is That" as my old friend use to say which took me about 5 yrs to figure out what he meant.

    Anyway, my very last argument for moving the Australian Open to a later date is how badly the Men's Final is covered when competing with something we have here in the States called THE SUPER BOWL !!!

    This is the day after and the Super Bowl results coverage which gives all the Literary Wannabe's their opportunity to use as many superlatives & declamatory writing they can muster that proclaims how appropriate the Crowning of a Season means to Red Blooded Americans.

    Tennis? sorry guys but on this day, please take a number.

    On the Syndicated Sports Networks, you will hear things like, "And in other News, Rafael Nadal beats Roger Federer in the Australian Open Men's Final making him the first Spaniard to win a their Hardcourt Event. Now back to the Super Bowl ..."

    That's it in a nutshell, if the Finals were say next week or a couple of weeks later, maybe the coverage would receive the glitz & glitter it rightfully deserves.

    Coach
    Last edited by Coach; 02-03-2009 at 11:13 PM.
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  7. #7

    Talking Flagstaff

    Well coach never played in FLAGSTAFF only went there to see the GRAND CANYON but i belive you.
    Australia is hot everywere in Jan. In all fairness the winner of the womens final would have lost 2 matches if it wasn,t for the heat.I don,t know if Safina
    would have won whoever she played but it would not have been Serena!!
    If you want to protect players from the heat it has to be a level playing field.
    The top & bottom players have to have the same consideration on heat.
    I cant see (EVEN IN MY WILDEST DREAM) that they would cover all the courts.

    So no mater how we all feel i don,t see any real change happening unless for the higher ranked players which i guess is not even legal.
    Australia is hot in summer. You should see what South Australia is like in summer!! ( MORE LIKE NPHOENIX HEAT)
    BTW coach when i speak about America its because i was born there and moved to Australia in 1990
    ILENDL not Sydney please!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    New England
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    Quote Originally Posted by haretrigger View Post
    Well coach never played in FLAGSTAFF only went there to see the GRAND CANYON but i belive you.
    Australia is hot everywere in Jan. In all fairness the winner of the womens final would have lost 2 matches if it wasn,t for the heat.I don,t know if Safina
    would have won whoever she played but it would not have been Serena!!
    If you want to protect players from the heat it has to be a level playing field.
    The top & bottom players have to have the same consideration on heat.
    I cant see (EVEN IN MY WILDEST DREAM) that they would cover all the courts.


    So no mater how we all feel i don,t see any real change happening unless for the higher ranked players which i guess is not even legal.
    Australia is hot in summer. You should see what South Australia is like in summer!! ( MORE LIKE NPHOENIX HEAT)
    BTW coach when i speak about America its because i was born there and moved to Australia in 1990
    ILENDL not Sydney please!!!
    Point well taken...

    My albatross in life has always been the need to fix stuff that I deem broken. And now I can sleep peacefully knowing in as much as the Officials would very much like to accommodate the Players, the City of Melbourne is not about to finance roofing outer Courts especially when you're ranked 1,000 in the World, capable of drawing a crowd of five, where two of which are your parents and the other three are just trying to find the hotdog stand.
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    LA, California
    Posts
    151
    Quote Originally Posted by haretrigger View Post
    I started playing tennis in Phoenix in the 70,s Tennis is tennis sun is sun.
    We played almost every day in summer as well as winter.
    In Australia i do not think they will ever change the dates.
    My understanding is our school holidays are at that time and this allows for better crowds more money spent. The full spectrum of a commercial venture.
    AS far as the HEAT goes(you can condition for it) These people are being paid the BIG BUCKS. Its part of the Australian open.
    I think there are a lot of ULTRA TRIATHALON,s completed by people 3xtheir age
    Sorry Coach, have to agree with haretrigger on this. The heat is one of the things that differentiates the Aus open from the others. Its part of the sport. I don't think it is unreasonable at all to expect players to condition themselves such that they can deal with the heat. It provides another factor that separates the men from the boys as it were. If you think that cricketers spend up to 8 hours non-stop on the field during just 1 day of a 5-day test match in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees celsius (places like India, Sri Lanka), then 3 hours or so of Tennis, admittedly more arduous physical exertion, in similar heat isn't too much to ask of top athletes.
    Last edited by AlexLogan; 12-27-2009 at 05:55 PM.
    "The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, Ill never be as good as a wall."

    "Whoever said, Its not whether you win or lose that counts, probably lost."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sea Pines, Hilton Head, South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexLogan View Post
    Sorry Coach, have to agree with haretrigger on this. The heat is one of the things that differentiates the Aus open from the others. Its part of the sport. I don't think it is unreasonable at all to expect players to condition themselves such that they can deal with the heat. It provides another factor that separates the men from the boys as it were. If you think that cricketers spend up to 8 hours non-stop on the field during just 1 day of a 5-day test match in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees celsius (places like India, Sri Lanka), then 3 hours or so of Tennis, admittedly more arduous physical exertion, in similar heat isn't too much to ask of top athletes.
    Yes and no. It makes sense to condition yourself to be in excellent shape, I used to run 6 miles a day and spend a solid 4 hours on the court and another couple of hours in the weight room and aerobics area. However, conditioning yourself to heat isn't really feasible. Some people hold water better than others and to be honest, you can very easily have a heat stroke and be in super superior shape. I had a heat stroke in 1995 when I was on tour and I promise you that I could have run a marathon and then jumped on a bike and rode home without an once of problem. I also scored an 83 on my Vmax fitness test. My resting heart rate was 38 beats a minute and never broke 100 even after 20 minutes on an exercise bike at medium pace. This was all done under supervision of a doctor. Highest one they had ever recorded. So being in shape and being able to deal with heat are two different issues. Also, the Rebound Ace is a rubberized surface that is affected by heat and gets quite "grabby", "sticky" when hot. It has caused quite a few ankle injuries at the Australian Open over the years. Now, take into consideration that hard court temperature is usually up to 30 degrees hotter than the outside temperature, then you are just begging for issues. We would put thermometers on the court at Hopman Academy before training and we saw temperatures reach 128 degrees on the court. That was on the same court surface as the Australian is played on too. That heat stroke is one of the reasons I quit playing professionally. I couldn't go out in the heat for a good 6 months after it happened or my blood pressure would go up and I would flush like crazy. I would also be able to hear my heartbeat in my ears. Add the months of severe cramps because my electrolytes were so screwed up and you get a serious issue. I was in as good shape as anyone in the world at that time I truly believe and the doctors I used to deal with would back that statement. I agree that if they are going to play the tournament on that surface, they should do it in a more forgiving temperature time of year. It used to be a grass court tournament not all that long ago. If they would go to a cooler surface, it would really help. No need to change the date.
    Last edited by tennisking1; 01-02-2010 at 04:13 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    I had a heat stroke in 1995 when I was on tour and I promise you that I could have run a marathon and then jumped on a bike and rode home without an once of problem.
    Just out of interest, what's your name? Maybe I've heard of you
    "The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, Ill never be as good as a wall."

    "Whoever said, Its not whether you win or lose that counts, probably lost."

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Sea Pines, Hilton Head, South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexLogan View Post
    Just out of interest, what's your name? Maybe I've heard of you
    Name is Brett.
    Last edited by tennisking1; 08-16-2010 at 12:50 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexLogan View Post
    Sorry Coach, have to agree with haretrigger on this. The heat is one of the things that differentiates the Aus open from the others. Its part of the sport. I don't think it is unreasonable at all to expect players to condition themselves such that they can deal with the heat. It provides another factor that separates the men from the boys as it were. If you think that cricketers spend up to 8 hours non-stop on the field during just 1 day of a 5-day test match in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees celsius (places like India, Sri Lanka), then 3 hours or so of Tennis, admittedly more arduous physical exertion, in similar heat isn't too much to ask of top athletes.
    I live in Melbourne which boasts a wide variance of temperature within any given week & month. Today is Sat 3 2010 and its 22C, rainy. Two or three days ago it was close to 40C. Monday the 5th is forecast at 12C. The only way you will avoid Melbourne weather being a factor in deciding a match is to make it an indoor tournament.

    Personally I prefer playing on an overcast day (which is better than under lighting), no wind, in a nice brisk 18C temperature. I also prefer having all the luck on my side and a kind and understanding opponent.

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