Mats Merkel: From the Australian Open 2013, Day 5

Hello again, everybody!

Today it is very cloudy and a lot cooler than yesterday. It is crazy how the temperature drops here in Melbourne. Because the forecast for today was rain many of the players went indoors this morning. So did I with the players I work with here.

From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. I had a session with Caroline Wozniacki. Her father is her full time coach traveling with her 52 weeks a year. After having warmed up properly, we did some work on the serve and return. Most of the players who are still in the tournament don’t work too much on their game on their days off. They usually play points with each other. But some of them do work on their game by practicing “Serve and First Shot.” The player serves, and either the coach feeds them a ball from the other side of the court or tosses a ball into the player’s side of the court.

Next to us at 9 a.m. Agnieszka Radwanska was warming up for her match on Hisense Arena. She was actually hitting with her sister, Ursula. There could be a couple of reasons why she did not warm up on Hisense Arena. Maybe because that specific time slot age wanted had been taken already and she did not want to share the court. Or simply because she wanted to be by herself indoors where no press had access to.

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Mats Merkel: From the Australian Open 2013, Day 4

Rise and shine to you all on a hot day here at the Australian Open!¬†Supposedly up to 102 degrees today here. So far it’s overcast.

THE HEAT

Your opponent is not the only one out there! The sun and the heat are not to be underestimated!¬†If it’s not match day, players try to stay out of the sun as much a possible and try to avoid practicing in the mid day sun/heat. Therefore they try to practice early between 8:30 and 11 a.m., or they even go indoors like Serena Williams did yesterday for her session.

The Australian Tennis Federation ha built a new indoors facility called NTC (National Tennis Center) where the players can go to have their hit indoors.

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STAY HYDRATED

The players therefore start drinking lots of fluids even one or two days before the match day!

Because they are aware that Melbourne is usually hot, they and their teams make sure they do everything to avoid possible heat exhaustions or even a heat stroke on court. Electrolytes are being added to their drinks because through sweating a lot of these get lost.

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