LONDON (Reuters) - Bernard Tomic questioned Wimbledon’s heat rule which allows women players some respite but not men as on-court temperatures edged over 41 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.
The Australian 27th seed beat Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6(3) 6-4 7-6(5) to reach the third round but needed treatment after toiling under the blazing sun.
“I was very dizzy out there. I didn’t sleep well yesterday and the day before. I was fatigued and starting to get dizzy out there with the heat hitting me,” he told reporters.
“It was tough, so I had to slow things down. I had to catch my breath. It was not that easy, that situation for me in the second. I was feeling bad.”
Tomic, who faces defending champion Novak Djokovic next, was asked whether Wimbledon’s complicated heat rule which, in certain extreme circumstances, can allow women a break should a match go to a third set should also be applied to men’s matches.
“I was actually talking about that in the locker room. It’s a bit interesting how the women have a different rule applied to them with the heat,” he said.
“I think ours is slightly different. I think we are allowed to play in more heat. Is it fair or not? Who am I to say? I don’t know. It’s a tough one.”
The heat rule was introduced in 1992 and is in use at all WTA events throughout the year. It has only been used twice at Wimbledon, in 2006 and 2009.
It allows a 10-minute break to be taken between the second and third set when the heat stress index is at or above 30.1 degrees Celsius.
The heat stress index factors together air temperature, humidity and surface temperature.
While some players struggled, the majority seemed untroubled.
American John Isner, who also reached the third round, said: ”I‘m glad I played on this day, I like playing in the heat.
“It wasn’t too humid out there.”
“I do train in Florida, and it’s way worse in Florida than it was here today.”
Editing by Ed Osmond