Mates, it is really, really, really, really bloody hot in Melbourne today. The Australian Open rolled into town this week and, as is tradition, blistering conditions soon followed.

The mercury in the city at the time of writing is sitting at an eye-watering 39.0 degrees, with the forecast calling for a testicle-stewing 42 on Friday. And the hot air temperature is translating to some incredibly, disgustingly, almost inhuman weather conditions at Melbourne Park as the tennis Grand Slam rolls on.

On Rod Laver Arena, the tournament’s premiere venue and the centrepiece of Melbourne Park, court-side thermometers are registering completely fucked-up readings. At 3:30pm this afternoon, the surface temperature of the court was a staggering 69 degrees.


Yet despite this, play this afternoon has continued, with players all-but keeling over in the unholy heat.

Frenchman Gael Monfils in particular is struggling to cope with the conditions in his currently on-going second round match against tournament fancy Novak Djokovic.

While both players have been utilising ice towels to try and cool down between games, Monfils in particular is not coping with the heat.

Extraordinary footage captured during the game shows Monfils talking to match officials and requesting simple things like “being allowed more than 25 seconds between service games” and “being allowed to leave the court for a brief reprieve between sets,” requests that, quite remarkably, have been difficult to grant, as it would seem.

Monfils was caught by court microphones telling officials that he might collapse, and that the heat is making him feel dizzy.

The Australian Open’s contentious and oft-talked about Extreme Heat policy does not come into effect unless the ambient air temperature exceeds 40.0 degrees.

After that, play on outside courts is halted and the roofs at Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena, and Margaret Court Arena are ordered to close.

‘Course there’s an argument to be made that dealing with the heat is an intrinsic part of what makes the Australian Open such a challenging tournament to navigate for players, and that those who come in better prepared to handle the conditions are the ones more deserving of advancing through the bracket.

Still, you can’t help but get the feeling that it’ll take something particularly bad to happen to someone for tournament officials to actually rethink their policies.

Man, it’s a hot one.

Image: Getty Images / Scott Barbour