Italian tennis star Lorenzo Sonego joined Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev in suggesting that the Tokyo Olympics organizers should start matches at a later time. On Saturday, the tennis event at the Olympics kicked off and it was marked by the extreme heat and humidity.
Sonego, who is having his Olympic debut, survived a tough opener as he edged out Japan’s Taro Daniel 4-6 7-6 (6) 7-6 (3). “The conditions were very difficult, it was incredibly hot. Moving from London to here was really devastating,” Sonego said, per OA Sport.
Djokovic and Medvedev shared same thoughts as Sonego
“Today there was not much of a breeze. I felt like there was trapped hot air that was absorbed by the surface. It was tough, and probably tougher for the earlier matches.
I at least had half of the match in shade so I could see the ball better and not feel dizzy on the court,” Djokovic said after his opening match. While explaining how he felt on the court, Djokovic said: “You’re constantly dehydrated, you feel you have weights on your shoulders because there’s so much heat and humidity and stagnated air.
“You don’t feel yourself, you feel slow with your legs. It’s not the first time we get to experience tough conditions. I actually 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”.
Medvedev also made a winning start to his Tokyo campaign but he wasn’t happy with scheduling. “I think, like they do in Mexico, the matches should maybe start at like 6pm because the heat actually gets much lighter,” said Medvedev.
“We’re here and we know the matches will be early and you couldn’t practise at this time. I don’t think they’re going to change it in the middle of the tournament, but that’s what can be done and the fact we have only one minute between changeovers is a joke.
“I think if you ask 200 tennis players here, I think 195 will say one minute is a joke and it should be 1:30 like it is in Asian tournaments”.