TODAY

TODAY   |  January 15, 2014

Player at Australian Open: Heat wave is ‘inhumane’

Extremely high temperatures in southern Australia have sparked wildfires, caused power outages, and now complaints from tennis players battling the heat at the Australian Open. NBC’s Michelle Kosinski reports.

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>> al was busy a week or so ago with record cold here in the u.s. this morning, we're talking about the opposite end of the spectrum. heat causing problems in australia. it's so hot that some players have called the conditions inhumane. nbc's michelle kosinski has the latest on this. michelle, good morning to you.

>> reporter: that heat is causing all kinds of problems, fires, power outages, we are talking 100 degrees plus for days at the australian open . i mean, this is weather that makes it hard to imagine doing anything outside. but hard to believe that tennis goes on. one player who collapsed calling it inhumane.

>> across southern australia where homes had burned in wildfires, the scorching, withering, mind melting heat has been likened to an oven or just way down under, hell.

>> pretty hot and horrific.

>> caroline wozniacki 's water bottle started to melt. jelena jankovic burned her bottom and legs on a chair. specialized ice vests were brought out, but for many that wasn't enough, fashioning their own ice gear. the looks on their faces, ouch.

>> i think it's crazy, i think they're playing with dynamite here. the players really question very strongly the wisdom of the tournament organizers. it's like being in a pressure cooker , a steam pressure cooker in many ways.

>> we had some pretty angry players there. but the director of the tournament says, well, it's the dry heat , you don't have the humidity. nobody's needed serious medical attention . in fact, one doctor was quoted as saying, he would worry more not about the players but the spectators who might not be as used to such punishing conditions. matt?

>> michelle kosinski in london. crazy.

>> they're a different breeds out there.

>> exactly. it seems like it's a dangerous situation.

>> it absolutely is. i think this is reckless, really, for them to continue carrying on like this in conditions like this.

>> it reminds me of tennis camp issues i had in the '80s in tucson. i'm telling you. the same caliber of play. exactly.