At the Tokyo Olympics, tennis matches rescheduled because of the heat

Novak Djokovic uses ice cubes and air conditioning to cool off after a match on July 27 (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

TOKYO JO – The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Wednesday July 28 that matches in the Olympic tournament would start at 3:00 p.m. instead of 11:00 a.m. from Thursday 29, after several players complained of the sweltering heat in the air. ‘Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo.

Summer temperatures in Tokyo traditionally hover between 32 and 35 degrees, with humidity between 70 and 80 percent. This heat-humidity combination, particularly trying for the body, was one of the main fears of athletes coming to Tokyo.

“It is in the interest of the health and well-being of the players and (…) because of the increasing heat and humidity in Tokyo that the matches will start at 3:00 pm on Thursday 29”, indicated ITF in a statement.

This decision “was taken following the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the organizers of the Olympic Games-2020, the Olympic Broadcasting Service but also players, referees, medical experts and other key players”, detailed the FIT .

“I can finish the match, but I can also die”

The announcement came after several players suffered from the extreme playing conditions on Wednesday. The Spaniard Badosa had to leave the court in a wheelchair, victim of sunstroke, after having abandoned in the quarter-finals against Marketa Vondrousova.

The Russian Daniil Medvedev, seeded N.2, was ”on the verge of [s’]collapse ”, during his match against the Italian Fabio Fognini, suffering from the heat and humidity. “From the start of the game, I felt that I was having trouble breathing. It was like my diaphragm was blocked, ”Medvedev explained after the meeting. “At the end of the second set, I saw black, I was sagging. I was on the verge of collapsing on the court. ”

On the field, the Russian had not chewed his mos face to the referee who had inquired about his state of health. “I can finish the game, but I can also die. If I die, will you be responsible? ”Said the player.

After the match, Medvedev asked the organizers to postpone the match schedule, scheduled for 11 a.m. “All the players I know say it’s not normal to start games at 11 am,” Medvedev said. An opinion shared in particular by Novak Djokovic.

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