Tennis at Tokyo Olympics: ITF accepts players' requests to delay start due to heat

Matches at the Ariake Tennis Park started at 11 am till Wednesday with some players suffering heatstroke.

Ashleigh Barty of Team Australia struggling due to heat during her Women's Singles First Round match against Sara Sorribes Tormo of Team Spain on day two of the Tokyo Olympics at Ariake Tennis Park.   -  Getty Images

Tennis matches at the Tokyo Olympics will start from 3 pm local time from Thursday, governing body International Tennis Federation said after requests from players who had struggled in hot and humid conditions.

World number two Daniil Medvedev gave a frank assessment of the stifling conditions on Wednesday when the visibly upset Russian told the umpire he could finish his match but wanted to know who would take responsibility if he died.

 

"In the interests of player health and welfare and following extensive consultation, the ITF has announced a change of schedule due to the increasing heat and humidity currently being experienced in Tokyo, Japan," the ITF said in a statement.

Matches at the Ariake Tennis Park started at 11 am till Wednesday with some players suffering heatstroke. Last week top-ranked Djokovic and Medvedev led calls to organisers to move the matches to later in the afternoon.

Tsitsipas, Pavlyuchenkova out

French Open finalists Stefanos Tsitsipas and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova bowed out of the Olympic singles on Wednesday.

Greece's Tsitsipas, who was beaten 2-6 7-6(4) 6-2, took a nasty tumble on court at set point in the second set tiebreak. He was unable to recover, going down a double break to lose the match against Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the decider.

The 22-year-old, who made the men's final at Roland Garros before losing to Novak Djokovic, will compete in the mixed doubles with Maria Sakkari later on Wednesday.

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