Melbourne – Rafael Nadal will face heat and his stiffest challenge so far at the Australian Open on Friday, while Caroline Wozniacki will be looking to prove a point in her third round match.
The Spanish world number one has so far been dominant in his search for a 17th Grand Slam title.
But it will be a tougher task on Margaret Court Arena against Damir Dzumhur, the first seed he has faced in his comeback from a knee problem.
And with temperatures forecast to reach 42 Celsius (107.6 Fahrenheit), he is guaranteed a thorough workout against the 28th seed, although his evening slot will shield him from the worst.
“The only thing that I hope is if it is extreme conditions, the organisers shut the roof. That’s all. I think it’s a health issue,’’ he said.
Frenchman Gael Monfils said he was “dying’’ on court, while Novak Djokovic called the conditions “brutal.”
Organisers can activate the extreme heat policy and halt play when the temperature exceeds 40 Celsius and the wet bulb globe temperature index hits 32.5 Celsius.