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  • Frenchman Gael Monfils called his round-two-game against Novak Djokovic "the hardest he ever had" (Getty Images AsiaPac)Source: Getty Images AsiaPac
Both players and fans were pushed to their limits on day four of the Australian Open. And it´s not over yet.
By
Maria Schaller

19 Jan 2018 - 12:02 AM  UPDATED 6 Mar 2018 - 2:09 PM

Hot, hotter, Australian Open

With a top of 39.1 degrees in the afternoon, day four turned out to be a challenging one for tennis players - and supporters.

During Novak Djokovic´ second-rounder against Gael Monfils, temperatures reportedly reached 69C in the middle of Rod Laver Arena.

“I’m going to collapse. I’m tired, dizzy and sick to the stomach,” the Frenchman said. 

He also sought medical treatment and asked the umpire to extend the time between the points.

Djokovic, who managed to get through in four sets, later talked about "brutal conditions, it was right at the limit”.

Officials have been criticised for not suspending the games.

But the tournament´s ´Extreme Heat Policy´ only comes into effect when the temperature reaches 40C away from the heat of a court surface and the wet bulb globe temperature (which takes into account humidity) exceeds 32.5.

But the worst is still to come: Friday is expected to be another hotter-than-usual Melbourne summer day, with a top of 42 degrees. 

Last year's winner Roger Federer, who played later in the day, overcame Germany´s Jan-Lennard Struff, while fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka was sent home by underdog Tennys Sandgren (US).

Stan is the first former Melbourne champion to leave the tournament prematurely this year.

´Sascha´ Zverev won the all-German battle against Peter Gojowczyk.

Dominic Thiem will need some extra recovery time after his four-hours-battle over five sets against Denis Kudla (US).

World number seven David Goffin had a surprise loss against Julien Benneteau from France.

Muguruza shocked by Hsieh

In the Women´s draw, reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza was the most prominent victim on day four. She lost to Taipei´s Su-Wei Hsieh in straight sets.

Maria Sharapova is still cruising comfortably through the tournament, beating Latvian Anastasija Sevastova in her second round.

The Russian, who took home the trophy in 2008, will now face 2016 champion Angelique Kerber in what is expected to be an exciting round-three clash this Saturday.

Before that, the German celebrated her 30th birthday with a win over Donna Vekic (CRO) - and some cake:

Simona Halep, Ashleigh Barty, Madison Keys and Karolina Pliskova also booked their tickets for round three.

It was a succesful day for a number of Asian hopefuls too:

South Korea´s rising star Hyeon Chung defeated Daniil Medvedev (Rus) and Naomi Osaka from Japan overcame Elena Vesnina (Rus).

Not to be missed: Friday night

Day five of the tournament is about to come up with more big games, especially at night time, when Aussie Nick Kyrgios will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Rafael Nadal will fight it out with Damir Dzumhur.