"U.S. Open’s Biggest Attraction? The Shade" - Ben Rothenberg and Cindy Shmerler
After a few days of relative relief, the sweltering weather has returned, with temperatures reaching 90 degrees, and humidity climbing above 70 percent at the U.S.T.A Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Younger players competing on smaller stages struggled more. The heat rules were put into effect because the wet bulb reading — which factors in air temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover — exceeded 30.1 degrees Celsius. The junior competition, for players 18 and under, takes things a step further. If the wet bulb reading exceeds 32.2, the tournament referee will suspend matches until conditions subside. “In general, the junior players are less prepared for the heat,” said Melissa Leber, MD, director of emergency department sports medicine at the Mount Sinai Hospital and US Open Consultant and Player Physician. “They’re not as knowledgeable as to what to do in terms of hydrating, having proper nutrition and wearing ice towels. Their coaches aren’t either.” Dr. Leber said her team had seen players with headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and even on-court vomiting.
- Melissa D. Leber, MD, Assistant Professor, Orthopedics, Emergency Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, Emergency Department Sports Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, US Open Consultant and Player Physician