Medvedev, Badosa Struggle with Heat on Grueling Day for Tennis at Tokyo Olympics

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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday July 28, 2021

With temperatures in the high eighties and humidity over 70 percent, the heat took a toll on players at the Olympic tennis venue in Tokyo today. Daniil Medvedev was out of sorts and only survived due to the 10-minute extreme heat break that allowed him to get off court and cool off his system before returning to close out his 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 win over Fabio Fognini.

At one point during the match, Medvedev told umpire Carlos Ramos: “I can finish the match but I can die,” Medvedev replied. “If I die, are you going to be responsible?”

This is how the Russian left the court:

.@DaniilMedwed is off to the beach ? pic.twitter.com/YRdFIO45Zy

— ‎‎‎‎‎ . (@Ashish__TV) July 28, 2021

Spain’s Paula Badosa was not so lucky. She was forced to retire against Marketa Vondrousova after dropping the opening set (6-3), and had to be carted off in a wheelchair, which means her mixed doubles match, scheduled for later in the day is probably a withdrawal.

Absolutely heartbreaking as Paula Badosa retires due to heat. Vondrousova is into the semis. pic.twitter.com/BNksT22RmZ

— ‎‎‎‎‎ . (@Ashish__TV) July 28, 2021

No way Badosa is coming back to play mixed doubles with Carreño later today. Tough scenes to watch. pic.twitter.com/SEZiZ7gYNy

— José Morgado (@josemorgado) July 28, 2021

These are tough conditions for players, and they have been all week in Tokyo. It is something that Medvedev called to attention early in the tournament. Before the tournament Medvedev suggested moving matches back by four hours to start at 3 PM, and World No.1 Novak Djokovic agreed with the plan.

“To be honest I don’t understand why they don’t start matches at say 3 pm,” he said. “I heard for tennis there’s some kind of curfew for them to finish by midnight. If that’s the case I just finished the last match. It’s not even 5pm.

“We still have like seven hours to play. They have the lights on all the courts, they’re going to make life much easier for all of us players. I just don’t understand why they don’t move it, I sincerely don’t understand.”

Medvedev had also complained about the 60-second changeover time during matches.

“The fact that we have only one minute between changeovers is a joke,” he said. “I think if you ask, let’s say 200 tennis players that are here, I think 195 will tell you that one minute is a joke and it should be 1:30 like it is in ATP tournaments.”