29 Jan 2009

Australian Open organisers defend roof policy

1:44 pm on 29 January 2009

Australian Open tennis organisers have defended the tournament's extreme heat policy after confusion reigned among players about when the court roof would be closed for matches.

Yesterday temperatures hit the mid forties in Melbourne and the Rod Laver Arena roof was closed during the second match on court.

Svetlana Kuznetsova was a set up over Serena Williams, but the 30-minute break worked in the American's favour and she won in three.

Tournament director Craig Tiley says the heat policy, first introduced in 2003, is a work in progress, and that everyone agrees this is an outdoor tournament.

He also defended the decisions both to leave the roof open early in the day, then to make a mid-match change, saying they can't make a decision on a forecast.