Britain’s last Olympic tennis hopes were ignited when organizers acceded to requests for schedule changes after one player suffered heatstroke and another wondered if he would “die” in the sweltering temperatures of Tokyo.
Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury were the first Britons to come out on Wednesday, losing 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 10-7 to Croats Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig in the men’s doubles quarter-final.
Any lingering low hopes were dashed later in the day when Liam Broady was beaten 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-1 by Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the third round of the men’s singles.
But the main talking point of the day was once again the warm conditions and the surprising impact on several players, with the International Tennis Federation organizing the event, announcing the matches later than Thursday. would start from 3 p.m., rather than 11 a.m.
The ITF said in a statement: “In the interest of the health and well-being of the players and after extensive consultation, the ITF has announced a schedule change due to the increasing heat and humidity that Tokyo is currently experiencing.
“The decision to start matches at 3 p.m. from Thursday is possible due to the results of today’s matches in the five competitions held and the size of the squad of players, and is designed to further protect the health of players. players. “
Spain’s Paula Badosa had raised concerns when she needed treatment after losing the first set of her quarter-final in singles 6-3 to Naomi Osaka conqueror Marketa Vondrousova, leaving the pitch in a wheelchair . She then recovered but withdrew from her first mixed doubles match alongside Pablo Carreno Busta.
Men’s second seed Daniil Medvedev also struggled in his third round match against Fabio Fognini, taking a medical timeout on the pitch and calling the coach on two more occasions. When the chair umpire Carlos Ramos asked him if he was okay, he was heard saying, “If I die, who will take responsibility?”