Posted: Friday January 17, 2014 1:31 AM

Matches continue as heat wave enters 4th day

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Li Na had one simple request before answering questions in on-court, post-match interview after battling for 2 1/2 hours in the brutal heat at the Australian Open on Friday: ''Can we stand in the shadow?''

The Chinese star certainly earned the courtesy. She saved a match point before prevailing against Lucie Safarova, all while playing at the hottest time of the day.

The temperature topped 40C (104F) for the fourth consecutive day in Melbourne, the longest heat wave in the city for more than a century.

Players draped themselves with ice packs during changeovers and those in the women's singles were given a 10-minute break before playing a third set, but tournament officials did not enact the ''Extreme Heat Policy,'' which would have suspended matches on the outer courts and closed the roofs on the two show courts.

 
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