Speaking during a PowerShare Series conference call yesterday, former No. 1 Andy Roddick offered his thoughts on the hot topic of the week: the Australian Open heat. The outspoken Roddick who has had his share of battles under the hot Melbourne, says the heat is just part of the tournament, let’s not get too caught up in it.
“Part of me finds it entertaining that every time we go down to Australia we act surprised that it’s hot outside,” Roddick said.
“It’s funny, the guys who have the reputation for being prepared aren’t the guys keeling over. You’re never going to see Roger outwardly showing heat. You’re not going to see Rafa doing it. You’re not going to see Novak anymore; you’re not going to see him doing it.
“Frankly I hated it when they closed the roof. I felt like I was prepared. I felt like it was a different tennis tournament once they put it indoors. They do have a system in place where if they deem it’s too hot, and there’s a pretty distinct number system that they have used there in the past, and they do have the ability to call it.
“Do we need to make extreme things because guys are struggling in the heat? I don’t know. Personally I don’t think so. I think as athletes we push our bodies to do things that aren’t normal, and frankly that’s what we get paid for. I can’t feel it.
“Listen, when you play there, it’s brutal. It feels like you’re playing in a hairdryer, but that’s all part of it. Each Slam presents its own unique set of challenges and you kind of have to attack it accordingly.”
Roddick said training in Austin, TX and Florida helped him prepare for the conditions in Australia. And he scoffs at the idea of moving the tournament out of the city, to a more temperate climate.
“You’re not going to take the Slam out of Australia. It’s too good of a venue,” he said. “They have built indoor courts, and like I said, they do have a system in place that they have used before.
“I was reading something where the humidity levels weren’t as bad so they didn’t use it. There is thought put into it. It’s not like they’re just going rogue with throwing people out there. They’ve set the precedent for being smart about it, and they have done it in the past. I don’t think they should just close the roofs because people are writing about it.”
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