Roger Federer and Victoria Azarenka are in action on Day 4 of the Australia
n Open. Reuters
Heat has been the hot topic at the Australian Open this year, with most players struggling to deal with the increasing temperatures.
Where to Watch Live
The fourth day is scheduled for an 11 am local time (5.30 am IST) start with live coverage on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2 in India. The matches can also be live streamed online HERE. Catch the action in Africa HERE, while viewers in the US can watch the matches via live streaming HERE. UK viewers can live stream the matches HERE and HERE.
The likes of Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki will have to brave the weather yet again when they take court in their respective second round encounters at the opening Grand Slam of 2014.
The big three in this section of the men's draw had it easy in the first round, with Murray having no problems in dispatching Japanese Go Soeda, and the Scot, still feeling his way from a back injury, was quite happy to finish the match off as quickly as a possible.
"It's not the easiest conditions I played in," said Murray, who faces Frenchman Vincent Millot in round two on Thursday. "I think if you were playing on one of the outside courts, in the sun, that would have been worse.
"I mean, I obviously wasn't on the court for a long time. That's what's very draining about being in conditions like that. I mean, most of the players are conditioned well enough to last in that weather for, you know, a certain amount of time. But doing it for three and a half, four hours is tough to recover from."
A couple of player collapsed, while a ball boy also found it difficult to deal with the heat and Murray said the organisers might need to take that into consideration to prevent the matter getting out of hand.
"It's definitely something that you maybe have to look at a little bit," Murray said. "As much as it's easy to say the conditions are safe, a few people said there's doctors and stuff saying: 'it's fine, it only takes one bad thing to happen.'
"And it looks terrible for the whole sport when people are collapsing, ball kids are collapsing, people in the stands are collapsing. That's obviously not great. And I know when I went out to hit before the match, the conditions like at 2:30, 3:00 were very, very, very tough conditions. Anyone's going to struggle in that heat.
"Whether it's safe or not, I don't know. You just got to be very careful these days. There's been some issues in other sports with, you know, players having heart attacks. I don't know exactly why that is. 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."
Federer faces the dangerous Blaz Kavcic in round two, with the Swiss scheduled to play the third match in the Hisense Arena. "I feel good, and it's about, for me, I want to show, prove to myself that I can bring it every match," Federer said after the round one win. "I'm really excited. It's a tough draw, but I'm open for it and I'm ready to go.
"I'm happy I managed to beat the heat easily, and I've entered the tournament, which is most important, first week as a whole. Hopefully I can move on from there."
Nadal did not spend too much time on court either, with his first round opponent Bernard Tomic retiring after the Spaniard had won the first set, much to the chagrin of the fans, who had braved the heat to watch their local boy go toe to toe with the world number one.
Next up for Nadal, scheduled to play the third match in the morning at the Rod Laver Arena, is another Australia Thanasi Kokkinakis.
In the women's draw, Azarenka and Sharapova play the first matches of the day in the Rod Laver Arena with their opponents Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Karin Knapp respectively not expected to give either of them too much trouble.
Schedule of play: Rod Laver Arena (11 am local time, 5.30 am IST): Karin Knapp (ITA) vs 3-Maria Sharapova (RUS); Christina McHale (USA) vs 10-Caroline Wozniacki (DEN); 1-Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS).
Night session (7 pm local time, 1.30 pm IST): Barbara Zahlavova Strycova (Cze) vs 2-Victoria Azarenka (BLR); 4-Andy Murray (GBR) vs Vincent Millot (FRA).
Hisense Arena: Olivia Rogowska (AUS) vs Elina Svitolina (UKR); 10-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs Thomaz Bellucci (BRA); 5-Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) vs Olga Govortsova (BLR).
Not before 5.00 pm local time (12.30 pm IST): Blaz Kavcic (SLO) vs 6-Roger Federer (SUI).
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