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Djokovic, Williams Escape Heat on Sizzling Day at US Open

Djokovic, Williams Escape Heat on Sizzling Day at US Open

Posted by Liliana Castaño on September 02, 2014

Serena Williams’ name had just been announced as the winner at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday afternoon when Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 seed in the men’s draw, seemed to wake to the realization that he was battling more than just the veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Djokovic was making his first appearance in two years inside Louis Armstrong Stadium, a flatter, more intimate setting that, on this withering afternoon, sizzled like a baking tray. The place was packed with fans, but Armstrong could hardly offer the same sheltered, cocooned atmosphere as the court below the multitiered stands at Ashe.

So there it sat, splayed like a piece of meat under a broiling heat. Temperatures rose into the upper 80s, and Djokovic, wearing a hat, and then not wearing a hat, came to understand this was not going to be a breezy fourth-round tuneup.

“I know that I definitely wanted to stay not too long out there,” Djokovic said.

The heat certainly affected No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard, who played after Djokovic at Armstrong and required medical attention after falling behind, 3-2, in the second set. Trainers rushed to apply cold towels to her neck and rubbed ice packs along her thighs in an effort to lower her body temperature. At one point, Bouchard appeared too weak to snap open a sports drink.

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