Wimbledon’s rare heat rule may be used as temperatures soar for Djokovic vs Kyrgios final

Wimbledon: Djokovic speaks after beating Cameron Norrie

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This year’s Wimbledon final between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios could be affected by the tournament’s special measures to deal with extreme heat if the temperatures rise as expected on Sunday afternoon. A spell of hot weather is set to hit the nation this weekend as Djokovic and Kyrgios do battle on Centre Court for the most prestigious Grand Slam trophy of them all.

The Met Office have warned of a heatwave that could see temperatures reach 30 degrees or higher in some parts of the UK, with Sunday’s forecast at Wimbledon predicting highs in the region of 28 degrees. This could mean that Wimbledon’s heat rule, which is rarely called into action, may be used when the men’s singles final gets underway.

The heat rule allows for a 10-minute break to be taken between the third and fourth set of best-of-five-set matches, or between sets two and three of best-of-three-set matches. Breaks will only be needed if the heat stress index, which takes into account a number of factors including surface temperature, humidity and air temperature, rises above 30.1 degrees.

The heat stress index is taken via a heat stress monitor, with readings noted 30 minutes before the start of play and then again at 2pm and 7pm. The rule only applies to singles matches that are yet to begin and only one of Djokovic or Kyrgios will need to request the mid-match break for the special measures to be implemented.

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If there is a change in weather conditions and the rule is lifted, those matches already in progress will be completed with the rule in place. It remains to be seen whether Sunday’s final will be affected by the heat rule, which was introduced in 1992 and was only used in women’s matches until 2019, when it was expanded to include all singles events.

Djokovic and Kyrgios will both be hoping for minimal disruptions on Centre Court as they lock horns for the coveted Wimbledon trophy this weekend. The former managed to book his place in the final with a four-set win over home favourite Cameron Norrie on Friday, while Kyrgios received a bye following Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal due to an abdominal injury.

Kyrgios boasts a 100 per cent win record over Djokovic, with the Australian star having won both of their previous meetings on the ATP Tour. The pair have not played each other since 2017, though, when Kyrgios beat his Serbian rival in straight sets at Indian Wells.

Sunday’s match will mark a first-ever Grand Slam final for Kyrgios, who will be hoping to let his tennis do the talking after making plenty of headlines for his controversial outbursts at Wimbledon over the course of this year’s tournament. However, the 27-year-old will need to find his very best form to stand any chance of beating Djokovic, with the Serb chasing his 21st major title as the firm favourite to claim the spoils.


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