Britain’s Andy Murray said Australian Open organisers were risking a tragedy after players fainted and vomited in extreme temperatures on Tuesday.
The Wimbledon champion queried whether it was safe to play in 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) heat and said the sight of players and ball boys breaking down “looks terrible for the whole sport”.
In temperatures which touched 42.4 Celsius, Canada’s Frank Dancevic fainted during his match and Chinese player Peng Shuai cramped up and vomited.
And Daniel Gimeno-Traver had to come to the rescue of a ball boy who collapsed during his match with Milos Raonic. High temperatures in excess of 40 Celsius are forecast for the next three days.
He added: “In this heat, that’s when you’re really pushing it to your limits. You don’t want to see anything bad happen to anyone.”
Tournament officials said despite the high temperatures, play went ahead because humidity remained low, reducing the risk to health.