Serena's toughest opponent was the heat

By Drum Digital
15 January 2014

Serena Williams said she could remember hotter matches.

The heat topped 40 Celsius during the 63-minute match, and peaked at just under 42C.

"I just try to hit a bunch of aces and a bunch of winners — that's all you can do because it's too hot to get into long rallies," she said.

Serana won 6-1, 6-2 win over Vesna Dolonc on Wednesday, the second consecutive scorching day at the season's first major.

She extended her winning stretch to 24 matches dating back to August, and improved to 60-8 at the Australian Open.

She said didn't even go outside Tuesday because she heard the conditions "were a little bit extreme," adding that the prospect of the scorching temperatures even interrupted her sleep.

"I kept waking up in the middle of the night last night just paranoid. I just wanted to stay hydrated," she said. "The last thing I want to do is to cramp in this weather. It can happen so easy."

Temperatures topped 42 Celsius (108F) on Tuesday, and there were a total of nine retirements in the first round, equaling a Grand Slam record. The forecast is for the heat wave to continue until Friday.

- AP

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