The searing heat in Melbourne has forced the Australian Open to a halt as play was halted on all outdoor courts after players braved the elements early on day two.
Games were suspended just before 2pm on Tuesday when the temperature soared to 36C and the tournament’s extreme heat policy was activated.
Previously, players were allowed a 10-minute rest period between sets before the temperature continued to rise.
“This means play will continue until the end of an even number of games or until a tiebreak is completed,” the Australian Open said in a statement.
“No new matches will be called to court. Playing on outdoor practice grounds is also suspended.”
Fans cheered as the roof closed at the John Cain Arena, where play between eighth-seeded American Taylor Fritz and Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili had been suspended until the roof could be closed.
Australia’s Jordan Thompson was among the players affected by the suspensions. His game against American JJ Wolf was cut short in the second set with a 3-1 lead by Thompson after losing the opener 3-6.
Queensland wildcard Kimberly Birrell pulled off a huge surprise win against seeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi before the delays. Their 3-6, 7-6, 6-1 victory drew thunderous cheers at the Kia Arena.
Originally released as Day 2 of the Australian Open, outdoor court play has been suspended as fans brave the scorching heat