Heat takes its toll as Djokovic overcomes Monfils

Heat takes its toll as Djokovic overcomes Monfils

Although Djokovic won the tussle in four sets, the Serbian looked far from his best, missing a number of backhand shots and committing several uncharacteristic double faults.

One of the first things Maria Sharapova, who opened proceedings on the Rod Laver Arena, checked when she entered the court was cold towels.

And Friday promises to be worse.

Monfils struggled more than the former world No. 1 and was ultimately beaten, and Djokovic described the conditions as "brutal".

"I mean, we both struggled". "At times we were both just trying to get a little bit of extra breath-a few seconds more, so we can recover". The Frenchman, who was being advised by the doctor, took a bathroom break at set-all. We've had good matches over the years.

With the temperatures heating up, he was pushed to four sets by Ricardas Berankis before prevailing 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7/2) in a tough workout he said was "proud" to come through.

"It was 2 hours, 20 minutes, straight-sets win, but I had to earn it", he said.

"I love it here", said the Russian, who returned from her drugs ban in April past year. "I'm telling you, I was dying on the court for 40 minutes". I tried to cool down. "It happened here. I'm still young, so I've got time".

Wozniacki on track

"Into the second week, it's going to be a game of small margins".

The Serb said he didn't object to it, despite the conditions, because he was given a pre-warning. But he prevailed convincingly in the end largely because he handled the debilitating heat - nearly 40 degrees - far better than the Frenchman, who called a doctor after the second set but fought on bravely to complete what he said was the toughest match of his career, with the possible exception of another scorcher in Melbourne more years ago than he wanted to remember. "I want to, but I know after one or two rallies I be done". "If the courts have roofs, why not put the roof on when the conditions are extreme?"

None of the top seeds or comeback men failed, but all had to bear the brunt of Melbourne heat with temperatures soaring above the 40 degree Celsius mark.

"Novak seems good to me, coming through the heat", Federer said after Djokovic battled scorching temperatures to beat Gael Monfils in round two.

Third seed Garbine Muguruza and 2014 victor Stan Wawrinka both wilted and were knocked out. The 14th seed, who is bidding to clinch his sixth Australian Open title, went down in the first set, but he rebounded strongly to eventually outplay Monfils 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in a thrilling second-round clash at the Melbourne Park.

World No1 Simona Halep was also convincing in her straight demolition of Canadian Eugenie Bouchard. The Indo-French pairing beat American Ryan Harrison and Canada's Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 7-6 (7-5). He pleaded to have more than 25 seconds between points and poured water over his head without bothering to drink it.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova lost 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 to Andrea Petkovic. The all-Indian combine of veteran Leander Paes and Purav Raja did well to move past Austria's Andreas Haider-Maurer and Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2, 6-3.

Michael Douglas Accused of Sexual Harassment by Journalist Susan Braudy
During Douglas' interview, he suggested that Braudy had held a grudge against him and may have been "disgruntled" over her career. In his preemptive denial to Deadline on January 9, Douglas said, "I'm bewildered why, after 32 years, this is coming out, now".

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