This story is not real. All names are made up, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. All quotes are fictional and any similarity to actual quotes is coincidental.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA--As temperatures soared to over 100 degrees on Monday at the Australian Open, top ranked Maria Sharapova struggled to find ways to beat the heat. The 20-year-old took frequent breaks, hid in the shade at the back of the court, and struggled to defeat 62nd ranked Camille Pin of France.
The 100 degree heat was unseasonable for Melbourne, and experts say it's another symptom of the warming trend that has gripped the earth. Athletes are especially vulnerable to the heat, and scientists say it's only a matter of time before female tennis players, such as Maria Sharapova, will be forced to wear skimpier outfits on the court.
"As the earth becomes warmer, we will start to see noticeable effects on the environment," said Henry Armington, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "There will be more violent storms, many species of plants and animals will become endangered, the polar ice caps will melt, and, of course, averages temperatures will soar higher, which will result in Maria Sharapova wearing skimpier outfits when she's playing in that hot, hot sun. Mmmm, nice. Thank you very much, apocalyptic climate change."
Greenhouse gases such as carbon monoxide, which are released into the air by auto emissions and other pollutants, absorb infrared radiation from the sun and prevent it from leaving the atmosphere. The result is a "greenhouse effect" that warms the earth's surface.
"It's just going to get worse," said Armington. "The effects will be felt all over the world, and science will need to develop new, effective ways of beating the heat in order for humans to continue thriving on this planet. But scientific methods aside, the most time-tested way to beat the heat is to take off your clothes. I'm talking to you, Sharapova. Let's see some skin."
Another factor contributing to the increased heat is El Nino, a phenomenon that warms surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean and effects weather patterns worldwide. Louis Micelli, director of the National Center for Environment Prediction, says global warming combined with El Nino could make this one of the sexiest years ever in women's tennis.
"We're seeing a pretty strong El Nino this year, and that's part of the reason why 2006 was one of the hottest years on record," Micelli said. "And with the Sony Ericcson Open scheduled to be played in Miami this spring, and an active El Nino weather pattern, and all those greenhouse gases clogging the atmosphere, we could be looking at sweltering heat, tiny little shorts, skimpy tank tops, and some shoddy tennis. So to sum up - Global warming: bad for tennis, great for me and my camera phone."
Fans in attendance at the Australian Open were captivated by Sharapova, as she wiped the sweat off her face and rubbed an ice pack on the back of her neck during the grueling match. Fans say they gained a great deal of respect for Sharapova while watching her battle her way through the heat.
"I don't know how she does it," said Thurston Morris, a fan sitting in the front row. "I mean, look at how sweaty she is, and how her clothes are clinging to her body. That French girl doesn't look too bad, either. Gosh she's practically naked. Look at those shorts! Honestly, aside from all that rain we've been having and that big hurricane in New Orleans, I don't seen too many of the 'negative effects' of global warming. Frankly, I wish it were warmer."
Micelli, along with dozens of other climate change experts, issued a joint statement yesterday pleading for world leaders to take action on global warming, and for Anna Kournikova to come out of retirement and resume her tennis career.
Dave Saraiva is the author of thebrushback.com. Click here to buy his book, The Brushback Report: All the Sports News That's Unfit to Print.