Wimbledon 2015: Record temperature sends first aiders into overdrive

Wimbledon saw its hottest day ever today as first aiders were rushed off their feet and ground capacity cut to deal with the soaring temperatures, leading to calls for the roof on Centre Court to be closed.

Medics from St John's Ambulance treated 173 people yesterday, mostly for heat-related conditions such as dehydration and fainting, and told Newsweek it had treated 87 people by 3pm today with a potential eight hours of play still remaining.

A St John's Ambulance spokeswoman said the medical team had been "absolutely manic" treating people yesterday.

50 first-aiders were on hand today to deal temperatures which reached 35.7C, the highest temperature ever recorded at Wimbledon. The previous high was 34.6C on 26 June, 1976.

Additionally, a spokesman for the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which organises Wimbledon, said that ground capacity was cut by around 1,500 yesterday and a similar figure was expected to be cut again today in a bid to give spectators more space.

The spokesman also said that extra water fountains had been provided to help people to keep hydrated and that spectators were being advised to take precautionary measures such as wearing sunscreen and hats to keep cool.

However, officials have refused to close the roof on Centre Court, which would allow for air conditioning to be turned on, saying it will only be used if it is too dark to play without artificial lighting.

The extreme heat didn't cause too many problems for world number one Novak Djokovic, who dispatched Finland's Jarkko Nieminen in three sets despite temperatures on court hitting 41.2C during his match.

However, one of the tournament's ball boys was not so fortunate, collapsing during a match on court 17. Wimbledon tweeted that the ball boy had been treated and was recovering well.

Some players were taking innovative measures to deal with the heat, such as Spanish world number 20 Garbiñe Muguruza, who plunged into an ice bath to cool down.

But other players were perplexed by the peculiarly British fuss over the heat. Swiss world number two Roger Federer said the conditions were "perfect" during his win over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur yesterday, when temperatures exceed 30C.

Spaniard Rafael Nadal was also a fan of the sunshine, saying that he couldn't think of a "better day to play tennis here in Wimbledon" after his three-set triumph over Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci yesterday.

Female singles players are allowed to request a 10-minute heat break in between the second and third sets if temperatures go over 30.1C, but there is no equivalent rule for men.

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