The top seeds, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, finally found their best form in the extreme heat at the Australian Open tennis final in Melbourne today, but were severely hampered when, during a break between games, their racquets caught fire.
With Federer leading the match at 4-2 in the first set, and the temperature at an energy-sapping 45 °C, Nadal's raquet started smouldering, and after a few seconds, it suddenly burst into flames. The Spaniard, looking shocked, rose, but as he did so, Federer's bat also caught fire, and the players and officials fled the court.
Emergency fire crews were on the scene within minutes, but by that time, the blaze had already spread to the drinks machine and the umpire's chair. Nadal's tracksuit was already 'a goner', as were the superb quality towels provided by the organisers. Some spectators were also on fire.
Several of those spectators were treated for smoke-inhalation, but were later seen eating the delicious strawberries and cream which, because they were being sold outside the courts, were unaffected by the incident.
Who cares who the winner eventually was? Not me. Tennis is rubbish.