Paula Badosa was taken off court in a wheelchair and Daniil Medvedev asked who would take responsibility for his death but Ash Barty has had no problem handling the Olympic heat.
Medvedev looked like a broken man during his third round win over Fabio Fognini under the punishing Tokyo sun as temperatures soared into the mid-30s. The Russian took two medical timeouts and needed attention from the trainer as he questioned his mortality.
“I can finish the match but I can die,” Medvedev told chair umpire Carlos Ramos when asked if he was able to continue. “If I die, are you going to be responsible?
“I just had darkness in my eyes, like between every point I didn’t know what to do to feel better.
“I was bending over and I couldn’t get my breathing together. I was ready to just fall down on the court.”
Multiple players, including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, have complained about being forced to play in the middle of the day when the heat is at its worst. Organisers have finally caved and moved the start of play to 3pm local time to offer the players added protection.
But Barty hasn’t had any issues. The Queenslander is no stranger to playing in extreme heat and gave a blunt response when asked for her opinion on the conditions.
“We’re Aussies, mate. We’re alright,” she told News Corp after she and Storm Sanders crashed out of the doubles draw, denied a semi-final berth by Czech pair Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
After winning Wimbledon just a few weeks ago, Barty suffered a shock first round defeat to Sara Sorribes Tormo in the singles, but has one more chance to win a medal as she teams up with John Peers in the mixed doubles.
Meanwhile, Badosa collapsed into a wheelchair with heat exhaustion during her quarter-final against Marketa Vondrousova. The heat, combined with sapping humidity, took its toll on the Spaniard and she couldn’t continue after losing the first set 6-3.
“It was a shame to finish my participation in this way,” she said. “The conditions have been demanding from day one. We tried to adapt as best as possible but today the body has not responded as needed.
“I have suffered a heat stroke as you all have seen and I did not feel ready to continue.”