TOKYO (Reuters) – World number two Daniil Medvedev gave a candid assessment of the stifling tennis conditions in Tokyo on Wednesday when the visibly upset Russian told the referee he could finish his match but wanted to know who would take responsibility s ‘he was dying.
Last week, Medvedev was the first to request a delayed start from tennis at the Tokyo Olympics due to hot and humid weather conditions and also received support from world number one Novak Djokovic.
On Wednesday, he opened the proceedings on the main exhibition ground of Ariake Tennis Park against Italy’s Fabio Fognini and fought throughout the game.
The 25-year-old took a medical time out on the pitch and called the coach on a few other occasions as well.
Chair umpire Carlos Ramos was worried and asked Medvedev if he was okay as the Russian served 3-4 in the second set after winning the first.
“I’m fine. I can finish the match but I can die. If I die, will the ITF (the governing body of the International Tennis Federation) take responsibility?” Medvedev responded.
The ITF’s “extreme weather policy” allows a 10-minute break between the second and third set if both players agree and Medvedev used that time to take a freezing cold shower.
“Even from the first set, I didn’t feel good enough with my breathing. That’s why I called the physiotherapist, I felt like my diaphragm was blocked,” he said, adding he thought it was the wettest day so far in Tokyo. .
“And then on the second set, I just had dark eyes, like between every point, I didn’t know what to do to feel better. Like I was hunched over and I couldn’t catch my breath so I didn’t know what to do to feel better. was ready to just fall on the ground. “
While Medvedev said he was “lucky” to feel better and be able to continue her game to advance, Spain’s Paula Badosa gave up.
Badosa struggled in her match against Czech Marketa Vondrousova on court four and needed a long medical time out. But she couldn’t recover enough and left the court in a wheelchair.
The ITF has confirmed that Badosa has retired due to illness.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Shri Navaratnam)