The 2014 US Open Tennis Championships Sept 6, 2014 0:10:22 GMT
Post by Admin on Sept 6, 2014 0:10:22 GMT
For Caroline Wozniacki, watching her opponent carried from the court in a wheelchair was not how she wanted to celebrate reaching the United States Open final. Instead of reveling in her accomplishment, Wozniacki was busy worrying about Peng Shuai, who succumbed to heat illness during their semifinal match Friday. At one point, Wozniacki had rushed around the net to comfort Peng before she decided to retire from the match.
It was painful and heartbreaking, Wozniacki’s triumph wrapped in concern for a fellow player. The victory, officially scored 7-6 (1), 4-3 retired, sent her into Sunday’s final against No. 1 Serena Williams, who advanced easily in the second semifinal, 6-1, 6-3, over No. 17 Ekaterina Makarova. That match took exactly an hour and featured none of the long rallies that turned Wozniacki’s match with Peng into a test of endurance.
It was a test that did not end well for Peng, who received medical treatment on and off the court during the eighth game of the second set. She returned to play a few more points before collapsing on the court and deciding to retire. “It was really hard to watch for me whenever I saw her collapse on the court,” Wozniacki said. “You know, tennis is great, but the health is more important. You know, to see her struggling out there, I just wanted to make sure she was O.K.”
The air temperature was recorded at 86 degrees, but clearly it felt far hotter on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. The match was being played under the WTA Tour’s extreme heat rules, and both players wore ice-filled towels during changeovers. Peng, 28, had also struggled with the heat at the Australian Open this year, vomiting and suffering muscle cramps in a loss to Kurumi Nara of Japan in the first round. In Melbourne, however, the heat soared to 108 degrees, causing plastic water bottles to melt on the court and players to call the conditions “inhumane.”