Casey Dellacqua is determined to turn up the heat on Ukrainian 17th seed Elina Svitolina with Wimbledon temperatures set to soar to record highs.
Wimbledon organisers drew up emergency measures on Tuesday as temperatures hit 30, with the mercury expected to rise to further later in the week.
The hottest ever day recorded at the tournament was 34.6 degrees – a figure officials fear could be passed this week.
Dellacqua’s gruelling fitness work with esteemed tennis trainer Giselle Martin helped her reach the fourth round in two grand slams and a career-high ranking of 26 last year.
The 30-year-old is hoping that will pay off as the heat rises in SW19.
“It’s great when it’s hot – I love it,” Dellacqua said after cruising past Austria’s Tamira Paszek 6-2 6-2 on Tuesday.
“The hotter the better.”
Martin, who has worked with grand slam champions Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles and Sam Stosur, suggested Dellacqua jump in an ice bath following her 55-minute blitzing.
“I said ‘you’re kidding – it’s not really that hot’,” Dellacqua laughed.
The wily left-hander wasted little time on Tuesday, breaking the two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist twice in the opening three games as she snatched the first set in just 24 minutes before rounding out the victory in under an hour.
Despite a chronic foot injury, which forced her to withdraw from the Madrid Open at the start of May and ruled her out of subsequent tournaments in Strasbourg and Rome, Dellacqua says she’s reaching peak fitness and looking to improve on her best-ever Wimbledon finish when she reached the third round in 2008.
“I was pretty underdone at the French,” she admitted.
“But the last couple of weeks I’ve been able to get back out on the singles court and practice hard and do the things I needed to do. I certainly feel great.”
Dellacqua will next face Ukrainian 17th seed Elina Svitolina for a spot in the third round and the French Open doubles finalist says she’ll take plenty of confidence into Thursday’s match.
Australia will have three women in the second round, with Croatian-born starlet Ajla Tomljanovic joining Dellacqua and 22nd seed Sam Stosur, who won on Monday, with an impressive win over Czech world No.100 Klara Koukalova.
Tomljanovic prevailed 6-3 6-4 to set up a second round match with 13th seed Agnieszka Radwanska.
In Tuesday’s late match, Jarmila Gajdosova suffered a 7-5 6-4 defeat to Germany’s Sabine Lisicki.