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Triple-degree temperatures have plagued the first few days of the Australian Open, as an unrelenting heat wave continues to pound much of the country. But how hot is it really on the blue courts of Melbourne Park? Apparently hot enough to melt a pair of sneakers.
Word from down under is that the soles of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s shoes softened to the brink of melting point in the high temperatures—yeah, you read that correctly. The Frenchman complained about the grueling conditions following his first round win over Filippo Volandri.
"I don't know how to say it in English, but it's not good for our shoes when it's hot like this,” said the 2008 Australian Open Finalist.
In case you’re wondering (and surely you must be), the shoes in question are the recently released adidas Climacool adiZero Feather III. Interestingly enough however, the shoe is currently being worn by numerous other players in the Australian Open draw, so we're not going to make a whole lot out of it just yet. No other player has had similar issues that we’re aware of. Unfortunately no one managed to snap a photo of the melted trainers so we could for ourselves.
Tsonga’s shoe incident was hardly the lone wolf at Melbourne Park on Tuesday. The high temps caused Caroline Wozniacki’s plastic water bottle to melt on the court, while American John Isner likened the conditions to his kitchen oven at full blast. The extreme heat even caused Canadian Frank Dancevic to hallucinate about Snoopy of all things and later caused him to collapse. After the incident 29-year-old Dancevic criticized tournament officials for not taking precautionary measures.
"Until somebody dies, they just keep going on with it and putting matches on in this heat," he said. "It's inhumane, I don't think it's fair to anybody."
A ball boy also fainted due to the rising mercury.