Tennis Players Struggling in Tokyo Heat, Get Match Times Moved Back


World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev was clearly struggling through the first set against Fabio Fognini when the match umpire asked him if he would be OK to finish the match.

“What can I do? I’m a fighter, I can finish the match, but I can die,” Medvedev said. “If I die, is the ITF going to [take responsibility]?”

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) responded Wednesday with an announcement that tennis matches at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would start later in the day moving forward. The ITF said the decision is “designed to further safeguard player health” due to the extreme Tokyo heat and humidity.

On the women’s side, Spainard Paula Badosa was unable to finish her match against Marketa Vondrousova, who eliminated Naomi Osaka in the third round, and was taken off the court in a wheelchair.

The Tokyo heat was a concern heading into the Olympics and has not only affected the tennis players. Organizers moved the marathon and race-walking events to Sapporo ahead of the Games, and a Russian Olympic Committee archer passed out in the heat after the qualifying competition earlier this week.

Medvedev tweeted out a hilarious update after his match:

He, along with other tennis players still left vying for a gold medal, will likely be relieved at the ITF decision.

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