‘If I die, will you take responsibility?’ Daniil Medvedev wilts in Tokyo heat
Daniil Medvedev struggled in the blistering Tokyo heat during his third-round win on Wednesday, asking the umpire who would take responsibility if he died.
The Russian was the first player to complain about the hot and humid conditions, soon receiving support from world number one Novak Djokovic who also requested a delayed start to the tennis schedule.
After opening proceedings on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park against Fabio Fognini, Medvedev was visibly struggling in the high temperatures during his three-set victory.
The world number two took a medical timeout on court and also called the trainer on other occasions, prompting the chair umpire to ask if Medvedev was able to continue mid-way through the second set.
“I’m fine. I can finish the match but I can die. If I die will the ITF (governing body International Tennis Federation) take responsibility?” Medvedev questioned.
The ITF’s ‘extreme weather policy’ permits a 10-minute pause between the second and third set if agreed by both players and Medvedev used that time to take a cold shower.
“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,” the Russian said.
“And then in 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.”
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