Benneteau beats 7th seed at Australian Open

Switzerland's Roger Federer during his match against Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych. REUTERS  Edgar Su

"I didn't expect to play this kind of match", a thoroughly exhausted Juan Martin del Potro said after beating Karen Khachanov in a almost four-hour, second-round match.

Four-time grand slam victor Jim Courier, commentating for the Seven Network, said Monfils appeared to be "in a daze".

A few days ago, Djokovic said they changed something in the racket and commented: 'I've introduced new people to my team.

"It was obvious that we both suffered today", the Serb, playing his second official match after missing six months with an elbow problem, told on-court interviewer Jim Courier and the crowd. "But I also think that there should be some kind of rational conversations about, you know, rules that are maybe imposed or certain things that are concerning players' well-being".

She won every point on her serve in the first set, holding at love in three games.

Matches weren't halted Thursday as the highs stayed just below 40 Celsius for much of the day, but that doesn't mean the heat didn't cause issues for the players. In the last hours a video on social networks featuring the differences between 2016 and 2018, both at the Australian Open, got viral. But I think there is a limit, and that is a level of I guess tolerance between being fit and being, I think, in danger in terms of health.

There was continuous play as the tournament's extreme heat policy wasn't implemented.

"We take into account the ambient temperature the outside temperature and if it hits 40 degrees and the wet bulb index, a humidity measure and we look at the incoming forecast for the immediate forecast and make a decision whether we apply", he said.

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Monfils appeared to be the player most troubled Thursday. No players retired and men's fifth seed Dominic Thiem even engineered a two-set comeback, rallying against American Denis Kudla 6-7 (6-8) 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-3.

"It puts you so much pressure with the heat, then you rush".

Some players cope better than others in the furnace-like conditions, with third seed Garbine Muguruza one of those who suffered, crashing out in straight sets.

Like Muguruza, Konta endured fitness concerns in the build up to the year's first major, retiring in the Brisbane quarterfinals with a hip injury prior to a first-round exit in Sydney.

Maria Sharapova was untroubled by the heat, although she was on court in the morning and avoided the worst of it.

The 12-time grand slam victor began to also feel the heat during the fourth set, appearing to complain to his players' box with coaches Andre Agassi and Radep Stepanek watching on. I got myself here.

Bouchard, who beat Halep in the 2014 Wimbledon semi-finals, had her moments but made 26 unforced errors, conceding defeat with the last of them after Halep had fired down a huge forehand which she could only balloon wide of the court. He lost both five-setters that he played a year ago at the majors to Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon and to Juan Martin del Potro at the US Open.

Roger Federer rolls back into action later with the Swiss world No 2 headlining Rod Laver Arena in the evening against Jan-Lennard Struff.


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