<
>

Roger Federer defends event organisers following player backlash

play
Australian Open: Day 5 Preview (2:19)

Stephanie Brantz and Patrick McEnroe discuss what to expect on Day 5 of the Australian Open in Melbourne. (2:19)

Roger Federer says the heat is part and parcel of the Australian Open and believes organisers are doing their best to put player welfare before profits.

Six-time Open champion Novak Djokovic, who played in searing temperatures in Melbourne on Thursday, said a big-business approach was pushing players to the limit at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic said he had struggled to draw breath at times in his win over Gael Monfils, where 67C was recorded at ground level on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic said tournament organisers should consider waiting until temperatures dropped before sending players out on court.

The superstar Serb hinted that ticket sales were viewed as more important to increasingly corporate-minded tennis bosses.

But Federer, who himself has won five Open titles, said there had been worse conditions in Melbourne and players must prepare as best they could for the heat.

"You do know when you come to Australia the heat can sometimes be problematic but everyone faces similar issues," Federer said after his round two night match, when the temperature was still about 30 degrees.

"Sure I was watching the other players suffer but as long as nothing bad happens it's all good."

Federer said there was no easy solution for tournament organisers, with roof closures and match delays also presenting unfair circumstances across the field.

"On a day like today, what do you do - do you stop all matches?" the world No.2 said.

"Lucky guys on the big courts, do they get to play under the roof? Do the other guys get postponed to the next day and is that great?

"I honestly can't complain - the ATP is doing a nice job and there's a lot of physios and communication going on from officials towards us players."

It is unclear whether the Australian Open's extreme heat policy, twice invoked in 2009 and 2014, will be enforced on Friday with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a top of 42C in Melbourne.

That decision is made when the ambient temperature surpasses 40C and a wet-bulb reading of more than 32.5C is recorded.

When both these boxes are ticked, matches on outside courts are halted and roofs closed on all three indoor-capable venues.