France thrive in 40-degree Hopman heat

France’s Kristina Mladenovic estimates she drank up to seven bottles of fluid as she battled the 40-degree heat in her 6-4 5-7 6-3 win over Great Britain’s Heather Watson at the Hopman Cup on Wednesday.

It was already 36.6 degrees when the match started at 10am local time, and the temperature soared to 40.9 degrees as the contest wore on.

Long points and drawn-out games ensured the two players sweated it out even more, with the first set taking 53 minutes.

The match lasted 135 minutes and Mladenovic said the conditions tested her mentally and physically.

“It was definitely difficult ” world No.42 Mladenovic said.

“Sometimes you would like to try to put more intensity, but you have to be smart sometimes and maybe not run down every single ball.

“But I feel great physically I have to say I was far from having cramps or big fatigue.

“It was more like a mental conditioning. You have to keep working in your head to stay there and concentrate, because if your concentration goes away then it is very difficult.”

Mladenovic said she surprised herself by how much water she needed to drink.

“I was taking those big bottles of water. And I’d already drunk like three or four of them, and I was also (drinking) my sports drink,” she said.

“I was like, ‘How many bottles did I drink?’ I think it was like six or seven. I was like, ‘Oh my god’. It was very hot.

“When I woke up this morning and I went outside, I was like ‘Oh great, it’s 8am and I’m already tired just walking outside’. So how is it going to look like to play a tennis match at 10am?”

The triumph gave France a 1-0 lead in the tie ahead of Richard Gasquet’s clash with world No.66 Dan Evans.

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