Maria Sharapova’s match against Julia Goerges at the Australian Open on Friday was delayed for 20 minutes due to a dead spot on the court of .
As the two began warming up, the ball fell dead flat when it hit a patch in the service box, less than a metre from the net.
Melbourne’s weather is being blamed for a dead spot.
The match didn’t get underway for 20 minutes as umpires and officials debated on how to fix the unusual problem, which was caused from the court heat forcing a flat bubble patch on the plexicushion surface.
Sharapova, who won the game, said she first stumbled upon the spot during the coin toss.
“I noticed there was something under my left shoe. I know I have a lot of foam in the heel but I thought they added some padding or something in there,” the Russian said.
“All of a sudden I looked down and there was a pretty big bubble there.”
But the 2008 Open winner said the problem was fixed fast and had no influence on the match.
McKewen said changing weather conditions were believed to be the cause.
“The significant rainfall of recent times, combined with today’s warmer weather, is believed to have caused moisture to rise from under the surface, which led to the resultant vapour,” he said.
Sharapova went on to win the match, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the fourth round.