Heat Delays Matches at Aussie Open

GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images(MELBOURNE, Australia) -- With temperatures over triple-digits, some Australian Open womens matches had to be delayed on day four of the year's first major tournament. As the temperature reached 108 degrees Farenheit, officials enforced the extreme heat policy. 

Matches on the outer courts were ordered to halt play at the end of sets currently in progress and wait until 5 p.m. local time on Thursday to resume. The two show courts at Rod Laver and Hisene arenas had their retractable roofs closed following the completion of sets already in progress to help quell the heat. 

Third-seeded Maria Sharapova was in the midst of her third set with Karin Knapp when the policy went into effect, meaning she had to complete the third before play could be suspended. Sharapova went on to win in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 in a match that took nearly three hours.

American Varvara Lepchenko required medical attention during her match against 11th-seeded Simona Halep of Romania. During a changeover in the second set, Lepchenko was seen lying flat on her back as medics rubbed ice on her body. 

The heat was too much for even the most diehard fans to sit through. Many spectators instead chose to watch the matches under the shade of the trees or anywhere else they could find relief. 

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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