The US Open is facing criticism due to the extreme heat conditions that players have had to endure during matches. Former tennis player John McEnroe has spoken out against the tournament, calling the playing conditions “not humane.” McEnroe’s comments come after semifinalist Daniil Medvedev expressed concerns that a player could die in the sweltering New York conditions.
During the tournament, temperatures reached a scorching 93 degrees Fahrenheit (34 degrees Celsius), causing players to struggle with the intense heat. Medvedev, who battled through the heat to reach the semifinals, stated that he felt like he was “dying” during his matches.
McEnroe, known for his outspoken nature, criticized the tournament organizers for not taking adequate measures to protect the players. He argued that it was unfair to expect athletes to perform at their best in such extreme conditions. The former tennis star also questioned whether the extreme heat was affecting the quality of play.
Medvedev echoed McEnroe’s sentiments, stating that the heat made it difficult for him to breathe and affected his performance on the court. He emphasized the need for the tournament organizers to consider the well-being of the players and take appropriate action to ensure their safety.
Despite the concerns raised by McEnroe and Medvedev, the US Open officials defended their decision to continue with the matches in the hot weather. They pointed out that they have implemented the Extreme Heat Policy, which allows for longer breaks between sets and provides ice towels and shaded areas for players.
The Extreme Heat Policy was introduced in 2018 after several players struggled with the heat during previous tournaments. It aims to protect the players from the potentially dangerous effects of high temperatures.
However, McEnroe argued that the policy was not enough, suggesting that matches should be postponed or rescheduled if the conditions become too extreme. He emphasized the importance of prioritizing the players’ health and well-being over the scheduling of matches.
The debate surrounding the playing conditions at the US Open highlights the ongoing challenge of balancing the demands of professional tennis with the safety and well-being of the players. As the tournament continues, it remains to be seen whether any further action will be taken to address the concerns raised by McEnroe and Medvedev.