Play suspended due to extreme heat

Updated: January 19, 2006, 11:59 PM ET
Reuters

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Australian Open organizers invoked the tournament's extreme heat rule and postponed matches on outside courts as temperatures reached as high as 104 degrees on Friday.

Tournament rules allow for matches on outside courts to be suspended if the temperature reaches above 95, although matches under way must be completed.

The third-round match between 10th seed Thomas Johansson, the 2002 champion, and Frenchman Gilles Simon was just about to begin when the rule was invoked.

Play on Vodafone Arena, one of Melbourne Park's two main covered, air-conditioned courts, was also delayed slightly while its roof was closed before the start of the match between eighth seed Justine Henin-Hardenne and Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.

Top seed Lindsay Davenport's match against Russian Maria Kirilenko had already started when the rule was invoked.

Tournament organizers said they would review the conditions and decide whether play could restart at 4:15 p.m.