'I can die': Tennis players suffer in 'dangerous' Olympics farce

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Paula Badosa (pictured right) wheeled off the court after feeling ill at the Tokyo Olympics and (pictured left) Daniil Medvedev arguing with the chair umpire over the heat.
Paula Badosa (pictured right) retired and was wheeled off the court after feeling ill in the sweltering Tokyo heat at the Olympics and Daniil Medvedev (pictured left) complaining to the chair umpire over the heat. (Images: Channel7/@JoseMorgado)

The heat conditions tennis players are forced to compete in at the Tokyo Olympics has again caused controversy after Paula Badosa was wheeled out of her tennis match and Daniil Medvedev claimed he felt like he could 'die' out on the court.

Medvedev, along with Novak Djokovic, has been one of the vocal critics of playing the tennis schedule later in the day as temperatures soar above 31 degrees celsius in Tokyo, which is accompanied by sweltering humidity.

WOW: Fans in shock after devastating new Simone Biles announcement

WOW: Ash Barty suffers more heartbreak in brutal Olympics moment

'CHAMPION': Ariarne Titmus' 'beautiful' message to Aussies in lockdown

The heat on the court and the humidity made temperatures on court feel like 37 degrees celsius on Wednesday.

And Medvedev's concerns seemed justified on a day that saw him struggle against Italian Fabio Fognini.

Medvedev was struggling so much with the suffocating heat and humidity at the Ariake Tennis Park on Wednesday that at one point the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, asked him if he could continue playing.

"I can finish the match but I can die," Medvedev said, before putting his hands on his knees in agony in front of the chair umpire.

"If I die, are you going to be responsible?"

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Afterward, Medvedev said he felt "darkness" in his eyes.

"I didn't know what to do to feel better," the ROC player added. "I was ready to just fall down on the court."

Fognini was also seen taking shelter in the shade in between points to avoid the sweltering heat on court.

Medvedev, fortunately, recovered and went on to win 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.

Paula Badosa wheeled off after heat issues at Olympics

But Spain's Badosa was not so fortunate against Marketa Vondrousova.

In brutal scenes, Badosa was taken off court in a wheelchair after she complained of illness due to the extreme conditions.

Vondrousova, the Czech player who eliminated Naomi Osaka a day earlier, had won the first set 6-3.

She's now in the semi-finals and into the medal rounds.

The scenes in which Badosa exited the Olympics was enough for fans to call the conditions 'dangerous'. 

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

The problems the players faced raised questions over why organisers did not grant requests earlier in the tournament from Medvedev and other players - including top-ranked Novak Djokovic - to move all of the tennis matches at the Games to the evening.

Organisers said immediately after Medvedev's win that they were "considering" playing the matches later, starting Thursday.

Medvedev received medical treatment and had his chest massaged while leading 5-2 in the opening set but then held his serve in the next game to close it out. He then took another medical timeout while trailing 4-3 in the second.

"I felt like my diaphragm has blocked," Medvedev said. 

"I couldn't breathe properly. It was the most humid day we had so far - maybe the hottest."

with AAP

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting