- Tennis star Daniil Medvedev called the heat at the Tokyo Olympics “some of the worst” he’s faced.
- Medvedev and Novak Djokovic both called for later starts to matches to avoid the heat.
- According to The Washington Post, the Tokyo Olympics could end up being the hottest on record.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
World No. 2 men’s tennis player Daniil Medvedev won his first match of the Tokyo Olympics but described the heat as nearly unbearable.
Speaking to reporters, Medvedev said the Tokyo heat was “some of the worst” he’s experienced during play.
“Where I live in summer in Cannes can be really hot, I’m not going to lie, but you have to play,” Medvedev said via CNA. “That’s the Olympics. You go for the medal. You’re not here to cry about heat.
“It was really tough for both of us.”
According to The Washington Post, the Tokyo games could be the hottest on record, with temperatures expected to peak around 90, with high humidity. According to the Post, organizers were initially concerned about how spectators would fair in the heat, but fans are not allowed at these games.
Medvedev called for matches to start later in the day when the temperatures drop.
“The matches should maybe start at like 6 P.M. because the heat actually gets much lighter,” Medvedev said, according to CNA.
“I don’t think they’re going to change it in the middle of the tournament, but that’s what can be done.”
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic agreed with Medvedev, saying he didn’t understand why organizers wouldn’t move the matches back.
“To be honest, I don’t understand why they don’t start matches at say 3 pm,” Djokovic said, according to Reuters. “I heard for tennis there’s some kind of curfew for them to finish by midnight. If that’s the case, I just finished the last match. It’s not even 5 pm.
I just don’t understand why they don’t move it. I sincerely don’t understand.”Djokovic said he had his team ask about moving matches back.
Other players have complained about the heat, as well, with Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova having to take a medical timeout because of dizziness and dehydration.
“I was thinking on court that for tennis players, conditions are really rough,” she said via Reuters. “It’s very hot out there. The sun is shining very bright when you’re serving it’s right into your eyes. This is tough conditions but of course for everybody.”
Ultimately, Pavlyuchenkova said the Olympics don’t make a habit of accommodating athletes.
“They could have somehow tried to make it a bit easier on us, but it’s the Olympics so we can’t really do much about it.”