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By Erik Gudris/Thursday, January 16, 2014

 

Former No. 1 Andy Roddick weighed in on the current debate about the Australian Open and its extreme heat policy.

Photo Credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve
 

Prepare early and get used to it.

That sums up what former No. 1 Andy Roddick thinks of the excessive heat currently going on in Melbourne at this week's Australian Open. Taking part in a conference call to promote the upcoming PowerShares Series, Roddick said that dealing with heat at the first Grand Slam of the year is nothing new.

"Well, part of me finds it entertaining that every time we go down to Australia we act surprised that it's hot outside. 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 (Federer) outwardly showing heat. You're not going to see Rafa (Nadal) doing it. You're not going to see Novak (Djokovic) 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."

While some have argued that the Australian Open's current extreme heat policy doesn't do enough to protect players, Roddick, a four-time semifinalist at the event, feels it does its job.

"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."

Maria Sharapova Frustrated With Extreme Heat Policy

How players prepare to play in heat, along with the increasingly physical nature of the game, are both factors that Roddick feels determines how one will cope.

"Frankly it's stupid to train indoors in cold weather the whole time and then expect to go to Australia and not to have your your body is not going to adapt that quick. But it will adapt. And frankly I don't know that Australia is as extreme as Florida in the summer or the hottest days in Cincinnati in the summer. I think you're seeing guys play three out of five, and it's become a more physical game, so you're kind of seeing the toll of that."

Roddick will make his debut with the PowerShares Series in Birmingham, Alabama on February 13th.

 

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