Scorching heat wave pushes U.S. Open players to the brink
Brutal temperatures and stifling humidity at this year's U.S. Open have pushed some of the world's best tennis players to the brink.
Why it matters: New York's late-summer heat wave can get dangerous fast when you're chasing serves above 130 mph for hours in the sun.
What's happening: High temperatures this week in New York have hovered in the 90s, with more than 50% humidity.
- On the court at Arthur Ashe, the event's biggest stadium, players say conditions have been excruciating.
- "One player [is] gonna die, and they're gonna see," Daniil Medvedev, the No. 3 men's player, said during a match on Wednesday.
Zoom in: Tournament organizers adopted a new rule this week to partially close Arthur Ashe Stadium's retractable roof in extreme heat to block the sun.
- Officials are also worried about fans, who can sit in sun-blanketed seats for multiple matches at a time.
Between the lines: The average highs during the U.S. Open and the three other majors have gotten higher and more dangerous in recent decades, according to an AP analysis.
- Researchers found that hot temperatures increase errors and reduce players' win probabilities in subsequent matches, Axios Generate co-author Ben Geman writes.
The other side: Many tennis players who train in Florida want to use the heat to their advantage.
- "The hotter the better," says Coco Gauff, who plays in her first U.S. Open final tomorrow.
What's next: Temperatures are expected to cool slightly for the tournament's final matches this weekend.