Heat continues to be the biggest threat for tennis players trying to advance through the draw at the Australian Open. The forecast for Day Three in Melbourne is 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Celsius sounds so much better, a meager little number, just 41.
No matter how you count the notches on the thermometer, if these temperatures last through Thursday, it will be the worst heat wave in more than 100 years for Melbourne.
The heat is keeping Serena Williams up at night, though it didn't seem to hurt her on court Wednesday. She rolled through No. 104, Vesna Dolonc, 6-1, 6-2, The win is her 60th at the Aussie Open, tying her with tennis great Margaret Court.
"I kept waking up in the middle of the night last night, just paranoid," said Williams.
"I just wanted to stay hydrated. The last thing I want to do is to cramp in this weather. It can happen so easy.
On the men's side, top seed Rafael Nadal plays his second rounder. So does No. 4 Andy Murray and No. 6 Roger Federer. Americans Jack Sock and Donald Young try not to melt against 24th-seed Andreas Seppi (Sock) and 25th-seed Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Despite the heat, there were plenty of marathon matches. Daniela Hantuchova prevailed over Karolina Pliskova, 12-10, in the third set. Florian Mayer upset 14th seed Mikhail Youzhny. American up-and-comer Madison Keys was up-and-out after three sets against Jie Zheng.
Sabine Lisicki blamed the heat for the Wimbledon finalist's quicker-than-expected exit. Australian Open.com writer Darren Saligari took issue with her excuse:
Unseeded American Sam Querry hung in there to beat 23rd seed Ernests Gulbis, who hasn't made it past the second round in his six appearances at the Aussie Open.
Gulbis is an epic Tennis Hater.
The 25-year-old Latvian should kick the spare tire around his middle, not the racquet. Time for me to take down the Gulbis picture posted at my cubicle at work.