Djokovic, Serena keep it quick to beat the heat

Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:22am EST
 
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By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Tournament favorites Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams raced into the third round of the Australian Open and out of the heat on Wednesday as controversy over play continuing in scorching temperatures rumbled on for a second day.

Cloud cover and a gusty wind helped keep temperatures just below the peak of 42.2 degrees Celsius they reached on Tuesday, when Canadian Frank Dancevic passed out and accused organizers of forcing players to play in "inhumane" conditions.

Ivan Dodig became the 10th player to retire in the first three days of the tournament, though, when he was unable to complete his match against Bosnian Damir Dzumhur on one of the exposed outer courts at Melbourne Park.

"Today, 30 minutes after the match I could not walk," Croatian Dodig told reporters. "There were 10 people around me. I was thinking I could maybe even die here.

"I think we deserve that somebody listens to the voice of the players."

Djokovic needed 107 minutes to take the second step on the path he hopes will take him to a fourth successive title by thrashing Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-0 6-4 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena.

Williams also hot-footed it into the third round with a one-sided 6-1 6-2 demolition of Vesna Dolonc before revealing her own particular visualization technique for keeping cool.

"I just pretend I'm in Hawaii riding a wave, that's all I can do," she said after setting up an encounter with Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova who survived a grueling battle against Karolina Pliskova, winning 12-10 in the deciding set.   Continued...

 
Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a return to Vesna Dolonc of Serbia during their women's singles match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 15, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed