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Extreme heat leads tennis Olympian to ask if officials would take responsibility if he died on court

Business Insider US
  • Tennis players are struggling to compete in the oppressive conditions at the Tokyo Olympics.
  • Daniil Medvedev is the latest to voice his concern and asked an umpire what happens if he dies.
  • Medvedev and his third-round opponent agreed a 10-minute break. Medvedev went on to win the match.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

It's so hot in Tokyo that a tennis player asked Olympic officials if they'd take responsibility if he died.

It is not the first time an athlete in tennis has raised concerns over the conditions in which they are tasked to compete in, as the No.1-ranked player in the sport Novak Djokovic called the heat and humidity "very tough" earlier this week.

Temperatures have reached as high as 34 degrees Celsius at certain points during the Tokyo Games, and those in tennis in particular have struggled to cope.

Daniil Medvedev, one of the top attractions in his game, is the latest to comment on how difficult it is to even breathe while playing the sport at such an oppressive time of the day.

Medvedev, of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team, was visibly struggling in the men's singles third-round match against Italy's Fabio Fognini on centre court at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo.

He called a medical timeout, called the trainer numerous times, and his behaviour midway through the second set - which he was losing - prompted the chair umpire to ask if he was able to continue.

"I'm fine," Medvedev said, according to Tennis 365. He added: "I will finish the match, but I can die. If I die, is the ITF [International Tennis Federation] going to take responsibility?"

Despite Medvedev's alarming comments, the match continued. Both players, though, exercised the "extreme weather policy" - which allows a 10-minute break - before they began the third and final set.

Commenting afterwards, Medvedev said: "Even from the first set, I didn't feel good enough with my breathing. That's why I called the physio. I felt like my diaphragm was blocked.

"And then on the second set, I just had darkness in my eyes, like between every point, I didn't know what to do to feel better. Like I was bending over and I couldn't get my breath together so I was ready to just fall down on the court."

With scores of 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, Medevedev advanced to the men's singles quarterfinal.

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