Andy Murray has joined the chorus of concern over the heat at the Australian Open, which almost overshadowed his grand slam return.
Murray had a relatively straightforward time on Tuesday, disposing of Japan’s Go Soeda 6-1 6-1 6-3 in 87 minutes.
But the Scotsman said he was concerned by the extreme heat conditions he encountered, with the maximum hitting 42.8 on Tuesday, telling The Telegraph “there’s been some issues in other sports with players having heart attacks”.
Canadian Frank Dancevic collapsed on court and complained of hallucinations, describing conditions as ‘inhumane’ while China’s Peng Shuai received a code violation after she vomited and cramped badly on court.
Ivan Dodig won the first two sets of his match against Damir Dzumhur on Wednesday before wilting and pulling out in the fourth, becoming the 10th player to retire in the heat.
Dodig joins Bernard Tomic, Tommy Haas, Julian Reister, Andrey Golubev, Alex Bogomolov Jr, John Isner, Radek Stepanek, Robin Haase and Polona Hercog in the casualty ward.
Murray says he doesn’t want a tragedy to unfold before tournament organisers take action.
“It’s easy to say that the conditions are safe … but it only takes one bad thing to happen and it looks terrible for the sport when people are collapsing,” he said.
“Whether it’s safe or not I don’t know but you’ve got to be very careful.
“When people are collapsing in this heat that’s when you’re really pushing it to your limits and I don’t want to see anything bad happen to anyone.”
The Wimbledon champion said he felt nervous before his first grand slam appearance since the surgery.
He will next face France’s Vincent Millot, feeling more confident he hasn’t lost any of his abilities and that he’s moving better than he has in years.
“The signs have been good in practice but I didn’t expect to play as well as I did today.
“In certain shots I’m a lot freer now and I hope that continues.
“That was the whole point of having the surgery.”
The 26-year-old admitted that he had his doubts.
“Going through surgery is different to any sort of break or injury that you might have because a lot of players don’t come back from it or they aren’t the same player they are before so it’s always in the back of your mind.”