New York - The heat has been taking a record toll during the opening week of the US Open, with 10 men and two women failing to finish their matches over the first two days of competition at the last grand slam of the season.
Brutal late-summer conditions at Flushing Meadows always require the utmost in fitness. The previous record for retirements was nine in 2011, also in New York.
Among those failing to complete were teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis, who even as an Aussie could not handle the 32 Celsius temperatures and raging humidity in a venue best known for its match-disrupting rain. His game deteriorated so much that he occasionally threw in an under-arm serve.
Heat was not actually blamed as a factor in the stoppages, with players citing injuries, cramps and other reasons for being unable to play on.
Tennis Australia coach Todd Woodbridge, the former doubles great, tweeted his thoughts on the situation: "@usopen most physically demanding of slams due to combo of heat/humidity even more than the 43c days @AustralianOpen."
"Sympathise with @Kokkinakis I full body cramped 1 year @usopen thank heavens for the intravenous drip!"
Others going out included Gael Monfils, Radek Stepanek Marcos Baghdatis, Ernests Gulbis and on the women's side Vitalia Diatchenko and Marina Erakovic.