Russia's Daniil Medvedev was having major difficulties in intense Tokyo heat and humidity and he asked who would take responsibility if he died on the court. On Tuesday, Medvedev managed to overcome Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-2 3-6 6-2 to reach the Tokyo Olympics quarterfinal.
"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 said in reply, per Reuters. Medvedev received a medical timeout and physio was called for him in each set.
"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," Medvedev said, adding that he felt it was the most humid day so far in Tokyo.
"And then on 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."
Medvedev not dealing with an injury
“Not at all,” Medvedev said, when asked if there was a more significant, underlying issue, per the ITF website. “The last one was cramping, so 30 minutes after the match it’s okay.
The first one I had a blocked diaphragm. It’s the same thing. The next day it’s a new story and it doesn’t affect things. “Of course I’m going to work with the physio on these issues to feel even better tomorrow.
I actually don’t know the schedule – if we play tomorrow or not – but if we play tomorrow I’m going to do my best to be 100%”. Medvedev admitted he considered playing the mixed doubles event at the Tokyo Olympics but he ultimately decided to skip it.
“I definitely considered it,” Medvedev admitted. “It’s a great chance to get a medal. It’s 16 teams. You win two matches and you get a chance to fight for the medal. But Vesnina and Karatsev made the final at Roland Garros, so one team was gone.
“To be honest, I think Andrey plays better mixed doubles than me. He lost in the singles – and [the rest of us] were still in the singles at the time. It was a smart decision to put him in, so I’m not disappointed but if I would need to play, I would play”.