Tennis stars boil in extreme Tokyo conditions

1 month ago 19
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Russian star Daniil Medvedev has again blasted the conditions that the tennis players have been subjected to, as he laboured to a three-set win over Fabio Fognini in the third round at the Tokyo Olympics.

Even in the late afternoon temperatures were north of 30 degrees, with the humidity of the Japanese capital also notoriously high in the mid-summer.

According to Guardian reporter Tumaini Carayol, Medvedev was asked by the umpire if he was in a condition to finish the match, to which the world number two replied: "I can finish the match, but I can die. If I die, who will take responsibility?"

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Fabio Fognini sits in the shade while Daniil Medvedev gets treatment. (Getty)

The heat has been an ongoing story since the tennis tournament began, and continues to plague the draw.

As Medvedev was struggling to a win, Spanish star Paula Badosa retired from her quarter-final against Marketa Vondrousova after just one set, citing the heat as the issue.

Earlier in the tournament, Medvedev called the weather "some of the worst" heat he had ever played in.

"I'm not going to lie. But you have to play," Medvedev said.

"That's the Olympics, you go for the medal. You are not here to cry about the heat."

Medvedev called for Olympics organisers to delay the start times of matches until the evening as they do in other parts of the world to avoid the worst of the heat.

"I think, like they do in Mexico, the matches should maybe start at like 6pm because the heat actually gets much lighter," Medvedev said.

Daniil Medvedev cools down during the break with air from a mobile air conditioner and a towel with ice cubes. Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa (Photo by Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images) (Getty)

"I don't think they're going to change it in the middle of the tournament... and the fact we have only one minute between changeovers is a joke."

Medvedev is through to the quarter-finals, where he'll take on Pablo Carreño Busta after the Spaniard accounted for German Dominik Koepfer 7-6 (9-7) 6-3.

Russian Karen Khachanov is the only other male confirmed in the quarter-finals after he beat Argentinian Diego Schwartzman.

Top seed Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas and local hope Kei Nishikori are all up today in third-round matches.

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