Updated: 6:30 a.m. EST
The intense heat reached 109 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) around 2 p.m. during Thursday’s matches, triggering organizers’ “extreme heat policy” which forced all outdoor afternoon games to be postponed until early evening. But ultimately most matches were canceled for the day after lightning and thunderstorms rolled in around 6:30 p.m.
Friday is expected to be just as hot for the Australian Open, leading to some creative solutions for players. Leading sports scientist Dr. Ross Tucker has the solution to the players’ woes — and no, it’s not a serving of beans and bacon. It’s bikram yoga.
“If you go there and you’re not prepared for the heat, it’s not going to be your Grand Slam,” Dr. Tucker, who has previously worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee, told CNN.
Fourth-ranked Andy Murray could be proof of that: during his past five years as a bikram yoga practitioner he has been a finalist in the notoriously hot tournament three times.
Whether or not the Scotsman will feel comfortable enough to try out a cobra pose on this skillet of a hardcourt remains to be seen.
This post has been updated to reflect the cancellation of some Thursday matches due to heat and rain.