Extreme Weather Strikes Australian Open Day Two, Matches Pushed to Wednesday

After scorching temperatures and a downpour over Melbourne Park, eight matches have been rescheduled to Wednesday.

It wouldn’t be the Australian Open without excessive heat and summer showers over Melbourne Park. 

Day 2 of the action down under saw significant delays, resulting in eight matches having to be rescheduled to Wednesday. 

On the women’s side, the matches affected include American Sloane Stephens and No. 8 Daria Kasatkina. On the men’s side, Denis Kudla-Roman Safiullin and Richard Gasquet-Uga Humbert will begin first round action on Wednesday’s Day 3.

The schedule reorganization also saw Australian local Alexei Popyrin and Taipei's Chun-Hsin Tseng move to John Cain Arena to play under the stadium's roof.

Tournament organizers were forced to enforce the extreme heat policy when temperatures hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit at 2 p.m. local time.

"The AO Heat Stress Scale has reached five and play will be suspended on the outside courts," Tennis Australia released in a statement. "Play continues until the end of an even number of games or the completion of a tiebreak. Play on outdoor practice courts is also suspended."

The scale was introduced in 2019 after players at the Australian Open complained about inconsistent guidelines when competing through excessive heat.

Play on the tournament's stadiums, Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and John Cain Arena, were able to continue after a brief delay to close the roofs.

Players on the 12 ground courts resumed at 5 p.m. local time, but it wasn't for long as a downpour hit Melbourne Park at 7:45 p.m. ET, further suspending 27 matches. After a 90-minute delay, players went back on court to only receive more precipitation moments later.

The schedule shuffling is something Australian Open organizers are very familiar with year after year, but it never becomes easier. 

Day 3 start times have been announced, although there is still a 90% chance of rain on Wednesday.

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