London: The Australian Open's extreme heat policy has been changed ahead of the 2015 tennis tournament and it has been updated to ensure conditions are fair for all players, according to the organisers.
The tournament's director Craig Tiley said that a roof had been added to a third court, and the heat policy had been updated to ensure conditions are fair for all players.
Temperatures soared above 40 degree Celsius during the 2014 tournament, causing players to faint or suffer from heatstroke and organisers came under criticism for not suspending matches, with some players describing conditions as dangerous, The BBC reported.
The extreme heat policy is implemented at the referee's discretion. Once the policy is introduced, play can be suspended at the end of the current set in each match.
In a statement released on the Australian Open website, Tiley said that the decision on implementing the heat policy would take into account the forecast once the ambient temperature exceeds 40 degree Celsius, and the Wet Bulb Global Temperature (WBGT) reading exceeds 32.5.
Tiley said that when conditions exceed these levels the referee is taking into account the forecast and state of play when making his discretionary call.
The WBGT reading takes into account humidity and wind direction as well as heat.
The statement further added that the other major difference from previous years is that matches currently in progress would continue until the end of an even number games in that set or completion of tie break.
It further stated that at the completion of the even number of games in that set or completion of tiebreak, play would be suspended.
Under previous guidelines, there was no set temperature to trigger the extreme heat policy, with the decision left entirely to referee's discretion, which led to criticism during the January 2014 tournament that the policy was not implemented transparently, with players complaining of inhumane conditions, the report added.