14 Jan 2009

Aussie heat takes its toll on tennis players

5:49 am on 14 January 2009

Australia's gruelling summer heat has claimed three more victims with Vera Zvonareva, Victoria Azarenka and Marion Bartoli all pulling out of the Sydney International tennis tournament.

Zvonareva, the Russian world number seven, pulled out of her first round-match after suffering a bout of gastroenteritis and a mystery illness forced Azarenka of Belarus to forfeit her match.

The world number four Elena Dementieva, who battled through her first match, says she struggled to cope with the Australian conditions and was not surprised at the high dropout rate.