Here's a fun fact: when I look out my window I see snow, yet somehow at this very moment it's summer in Australia! How does that work?!
Anyway, I guess that's how they figured it was a good idea to play a Grand Slam tennis event in the middle of January, but upon further review, the folks Down Under probably should have waited until what ever month their fall happens. (July? November? Who knows what's going on down there?) It has been unbearably hot in Melbourne this week. It was about 110F during the first set of Serena Williams' Australian Open quarterfinal match against Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova. A set that Kuznetsova won 7-5 as Serena had "an out-of-body experience." ("I felt I was watching someone play in a blue dress, and it wasn't me, because it was so hot out there," she said. "And I kept trying to tell myself that it's not hot. But it got hotter.")
So tournament officials took a 27-minute break, closed the retractable roof at Rod Laver Arena, the temperature dropped, and Williams rallied from match point—she also had her rackets restrung—to win 5-7, 7-5, 6-1. That pivotal decision to close roof has everyone asking ... shenanigans?
Just a day before, Andy Roddick played four sets on the same court, in nearly the same level of heat, and tournament officials did not close the roof... even after his opponent, defending champ Novak Djokovic, needed a medical timeout due to heat stress. (He eventually retired in the fourth set.) So why close it now? To help the biggest name left in the draw stay alive a little longer?
"I think the guys yesterday, it was the same weather. Everybody was playing with the roof (open). Why today they had to close it? I didn't get it. That was why I was angry."
"Why should I not be?" Kuznetsova said. "Game going my way. I was very comfortable playing outside. It's two different games. One you play inside; one you play outside. Serena was tough. She's playing great. I give her credit. But I don't get this rule."
Kuznetsova admits that she still blew an golden opportunity, but is the tournament playing favorites? Open officials busted out some nonsense about the "Wet Bulb Globe measure," which I think is what they call the giant weather machine that makes it 100 degrees in January. I'm on to you, you Aussie devils!