Australian Open Stops As Extreme Heat Policy Kicks In

She’s hot… Maria Sharapova on her way to beating Karin Knapp at the Australian Open, before officials closed the stadium roof due to extreme heat. Photo Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Melbourne’s heatwave has temporarily halted the Australian Open as officials called off play at 2pm today as the temperature soared towards 42C.

The rule saw current matches suspended at the end of a set and play will not resume until at least 4pm, provided the temperature drops below 40C. Practice is also suspended.

BoM figures show that the temperature in Melbourne’s CBD hit 40C at noon, climbing over 41C at 1.30pm.

The roofs at Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena were closed so play could continue, but not before Maria Sharapova won at epic 3-hours 28-minutes battle again Karin Knapp 6-3 4-6 10-8.

At the end of the game she signed the camera saying “Love the heat”.

Shortly after 3pm, with the roof closed and the air-conditioning on, play resumed on centre court with Christina McHale playing 10th seed Caroline Wozniacki in the second round.

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