Sticky Andy prepares for Vasselin test

BRITAIN’S Andy Murray admits he is facing an unexpected challenge from the elements at the Australian Open: soaring temperatures that cause the courts to melt.

Murray, who meets Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin in round two this morning, found his feet sticking to the acrylic surface in his opening win on Tuesday.

“The court is incredibly sticky when it’s that warm,” said the Scot, who is seeded fourth. “My foot got caught on the court a couple of times. I’ve had that a few times especially when it’s been really warm.”

Australian Open organisers switched to Plexicushion, which is designed to retain less heat and has a lower rubber content than previous surfaces, in 2008.

Temperatures in Melbourne are due to breach 30C at the weekend and Murray has confessed to struggling with the heat as well as the tacky conditions underfoot.

“For the past couple of weeks it has been very different,” he added. “It was good to get used to playing in the heat again.”