New York | McEnroe urges action against the searing conditions

Tennis along with other sports need to shake up its calendar to put it in line with global warming.

That is the opinion of a physiology expert.

Searing temperatures and high humidity at the US Open in New York has heightened concerns over player safety with semi-finalist Daniil Medvedev warning we might see a death on court in such conditions.

Mike Tipton, professor of Human and Applied Physiology at Portsmouth University, has helped and advised top athletes including British triathlon superstars Alistair and Jonny Brownlee deal with similar environments

And he told the BBC that the conditions in New York for competitors are “regarded as on the edge of a serious risk to health”.

He added: “These are elite athletes in the peak of physical condition and they’re still pushing themselves to the limit. Of course, because they’re elite and in a competitive environment with high levels of prizes to be won, there is every possibility that they could push themselves to the point of collapse.

“It’s not just tennis. We are seeing heat-related problems in cycling, cricket and we are about to have a Rugby World Cup in blisteringly hot conditions in France. That will have to be a consideration.”

Tennis legend John McEnroe appealed to his country’s tennis authorities to “close the roof” when conditions are like those endured by Medvedev and fellow Russian Andrey Rublev in their quarter final.

McEnroe said to American media after it: “These poor guys today … they looked like they’re going to fall over. It’s not humane in a way. I’m sorry. Please, USTA, in the future, I think seriously we should close the roof.”

McEnroe added the competition was to find “the best tennis player, not a war of attrition.”

Tournament organisers have half closed the roof to provide more shade.

Daniil Medvedev takes a breather during his quarte final match

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)



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