Nadal, Serena Reach Semis in 110° Heat

Extreme temperatures force delays at Australian Open
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2009 7:55 AM CST
Spain's Rafael Nadal returns to France's Gilles Simon during the singles quarterfinal match at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/Rick Stevens)
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(Newser) – Rafael Nadal cruised into the semifinals of the Australian Open, winning his fifth straight-set victory at Melbourne Park over France's Gilles Simon, 6-2, 7-5, 7-5. He will face fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, while Roger Federer will play Andy Roddick. Nadal's victory came as the heat in Melbourne reached 110°, forcing tournament officials to suspend play temporarily, Bloomberg reports.

In the women's draw, Serena Williams gained a place in the semis with a win over Svetlana Kuznetsova. Williams was one game away from defeat, but a delay to close the stadium's roof allowed her to pull back, winning 5-7, 7-5, 6-1. Williams called the game "an out-of-body experience: I felt I was watching someone play in a blue dress, and it wasn’t me, because it was so hot out there."