Daily US Times: Tennis star Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev have urged to change the tennis matches of Tokyo 2020 because of the sweltering conditions they said were the “toughest” they had experienced.
Djokovic, who launched his bid for the gold medal with a quick first-round win, said matches should be pushed back to later in the day.
“I don’t understand why they don’t start matches at, say, 3pm,” World number one ranking tennis player said.
He said: “We still have seven hours to play. They have lights on all the courts.”
The Serbian star, who beat Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 in his opening match, said the temperatures meant that players were “constantly dehydrated”.
The 34-year-old said: “You feel you have weights on your shoulders because there’s so much heat and humidity and stagnated air,”
Djokovic said he spoke to a couple of guys in the locker room and all of them said this is the toughest that they have experienced day to day.
“I don’t really get why ITF [the International Tennis Federation] does not want to move the matches.”
ITF said in a statement that “player health is paramount”, adding that “Great consideration has been given to the 11am or a later start. The decision to retain 11am was made based on data, a nine-day event and to accommodate factors such as local authority restrictions due to Covid-19 and the unpredictability of the weather.
The global governing body for tennis said the officials of Tokyo 2020 have set procedures to monitor the heat stress index which determine whether play should be modified and have implemented these procedures today.