Heatwave wreaks havoc at the Australian Open

Stanislas Wawrinka kisses the Australian Open trophy after his first grand slam victory.
Stanislas Wawrinka kisses the Australian Open trophy after his first grand slam victory.
Stanislas Wawrinka sits with the Australian Open trophy at the post-final press conference.
Stanislas Wawrinka sits with the Australian Open trophy at the post-final press conference.
Rafa Nadal receives treatment on his injured back during the men's singles final.
Rafa Nadal receives treatment on his injured back during the men's singles final.
Stanislas Wawrinka reaches for a forehand during the men's singles final.
Stanislas Wawrinka reaches for a forehand during the men's singles final.
THIRD TIME LUCKY: Li Na kisses the Daphne Akhurst trophy after defeating Dominika Cibulkova in the Australian Open final.
THIRD TIME LUCKY: Li Na kisses the Daphne Akhurst trophy after defeating Dominika Cibulkova in the Australian Open final.
Runner-up Dominika Cibulkova and champion Li Na during the trophy presentation.
Runner-up Dominika Cibulkova and champion Li Na during the trophy presentation.
Dominika Cibulkova pumps her fist after winning a point in the Australian Open final.
Dominika Cibulkova pumps her fist after winning a point in the Australian Open final.
Li Na stretches for a two-handed volley in the women's final.
Li Na stretches for a two-handed volley in the women's final.
Rafa Nadal crushed Roger Federer in straight sets, and will play Stanislas Wawrinka for his 14th grand slam title in the Australian Open final.
Rafa Nadal crushed Roger Federer in straight sets, and will play Stanislas Wawrinka for his 14th grand slam title in the Australian Open final.
Roger Federer heads to the Australian Open exit.
Roger Federer heads to the Australian Open exit.
Li Na celebrates her semifinal win over Eugenie Bouchard.
Li Na celebrates her semifinal win over Eugenie Bouchard.
Roger Federer reacts after match point against Andy Murray.
Roger Federer reacts after match point against Andy Murray.
Grigor Dimitrov, left, and Rafael Nadal speak at the net after their epic last-eight clash.
Grigor Dimitrov, left, and Rafael Nadal speak at the net after their epic last-eight clash.
Agnieszka Radwanska, left, shakes hands with Victoria Azarenka after their quarterfinal.
Agnieszka Radwanska, left, shakes hands with Victoria Azarenka after their quarterfinal.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada celebrates defeating Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada celebrates defeating Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals.
Li Na in quarterfinal action against Flavia Pennetta.
Li Na in quarterfinal action against Flavia Pennetta.
Roger Federer has won through to the last 16 of the Australian Open in straight sets.
Roger Federer has won through to the last 16 of the Australian Open in straight sets.
Maria Sharapova hits a backhand during her third round match against Alize Cornet.
Maria Sharapova hits a backhand during her third round match against Alize Cornet.
ANDY MURRAY: trailing 5-1 in the third set, Murray wins 23 straight points to close out a straight sets victory over Vincent Millot.
ANDY MURRAY: trailing 5-1 in the third set, Murray wins 23 straight points to close out a straight sets victory over Vincent Millot.
VICTORIA AZARENKA'S: personalised shoes during her match against Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
VICTORIA AZARENKA'S: personalised shoes during her match against Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
'FANATICS':cheer during Nick Kyrgios' match against Benoit Paire.
'FANATICS':cheer during Nick Kyrgios' match against Benoit Paire.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: hits a forehand during his second round match with Leonardo Mayer.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: hits a forehand during his second round match with Leonardo Mayer.
SERENA WILLIAMS: untroubled in the second round match.
SERENA WILLIAMS: untroubled in the second round match.
MARINA ERAKOVIC: hits a forehand during her first round match with Sorana Cirstea.
MARINA ERAKOVIC: hits a forehand during her first round match with Sorana Cirstea.
ANDY MURRAY: had a comprehensive win in his first round match against Japan Go Soeda.
ANDY MURRAY: had a comprehensive win in his first round match against Japan Go Soeda.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Shirt changes likely common at this year's Australian Open.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Shirt changes likely common at this year's Australian Open.
SERENA WILLIAMS: overpowered Ashleigh Barty in the first round.
SERENA WILLIAMS: overpowered Ashleigh Barty in the first round.
SABINE LISICKI: had a straightforward 6-2 6-1 win over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the first round.
SABINE LISICKI: had a straightforward 6-2 6-1 win over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the first round.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: shows flexibility's important for a pro tennis player.
MARCOS BAGHDATIS: shows flexibility's important for a pro tennis player.
YANINA WICKMAYER: beat Dinah Pfizenmaier in the first round.
YANINA WICKMAYER: beat Dinah Pfizenmaier in the first round.
VENUS WILLIAMS: bowed out early in the first round.
VENUS WILLIAMS: bowed out early in the first round.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: got a first round win over Lukas Lacko.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: got a first round win over Lukas Lacko.
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: celebrates her surprise win over Venus Williams.
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: celebrates her surprise win over Venus Williams.
DAVID FERRER: won through to the second round.
DAVID FERRER: won through to the second round.

A player hallucinated he saw Snoopy on court before he fainted mid-match, a ball kid collapsed and water bottles melted on court as the Australian Open sizzled in extreme heat.

Canadian qualifier Frank Dancevic collapsed during the second set of his first round match against Frenchman Benoit Paire and said he saw the comic character Snoopy out on court as he suffered in the conditions.

He was unconscious for almost a minute but managed to return to the court before losing in straight sets.

"I was dizzy from the middle of the first set and then I saw Snoopy and I thought, 'Wow Snoopy, that's weird," Dancevic said.

"I couldn't keep my balance anymore and I leaned over the fence and when I woke up people were all around me."

The temperature hit a high of 41.8 degrees at 5pm and was over 40 from 2pm as players and fans sweltered at Melbourne Park, with the heat expected to continue until the end of the week.

"It's inhumane and I don't think it's fair to anybody when you see players pulling out of matches and passing out," Dancevic said.

"It's hazardous to be out there, it's dangerous.

"Until somebody dies they're going to keep playing playing matches in this heat ... and personally I don't think it's fair."

Dancevic said he questioned organisers about the heat policy before his match but was told it wasn't an issue.

"It's not only the heat you're battling with the air temperature, you're battling the heat coming from the court and also the sun so you've got heat coming from all sides.

Defending women's champion Victoria Azarenka described the conditions as like "dancing in a frying pan" .

Former women's world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki said when she put her water bottle down on court, the bottom started melting.

"It feels like I was sweating in a sauna or something," Wozniacki said.

China's Peng Shuai received a code violation after she vomited and cramped badly on court, blaming the heat for her three set loss.

"I couldn't run, I couldn't serve so it was impossible for me to play," she said.

Daniel Gimeno-Traver helped a ball kid to his chair after he collapsed during the Spaniard's four-set loss to Milos Raonic while the St John Ambulance were kept busy treating fans for heat stress.

In 2009, the hottest edition on record with an average daily temperature of 34.7 degrees, reigning champion Novak Djokovic pulled out of his quarter-final with Andy Roddick, citing heat exhaustion.

Officials have played down any health risks, pointing out that no player has ever died from dehydration on a tennis court.

OVERHEATING: Frank Dancevic receives medical attention.
OVERHEATING: Frank Dancevic receives medical attention.

Reuters