‘If I die, who will take responsibility’: Tennis players wilt in Tokyo heat with Paula Badosa leaving court in wheelchair

Paula Badosa had to leave the court in a wheelchair after suffering in the heat

Credit: AP

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Sweltering Spaniard Paula Badosa was taken off court in a wheelchair and another tennis player, Daniil Medvedev, questioned whether they would "die" as Tokyo wilted in 33C-plus temperatures.

With a storm clearing by Tuesday morning, the heat was back with a vengeance by Wednesday, with the tennis players particularly badly affected.

Heatstroke forced Badosa to retire from her quarter-final clash against Marketa Vondrousova. She was so overwhelmed by the heat that she needed the assistance of a wheelchair when she left the court.

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Meanwhile, Daniil Medvedev, who had previously been scathing about the scheduling in Japan, was struggling again as he overcame Fabio Fognini of Italy in the third round.

After the umpire inquired whether he was coping with the heat, Medvedev said: "I can finish the match, but I can die. If I die, who will take responsibility?"

Paula needed a wheelchair to leave the court 😢
praying she gets better soon. sad thing to watch.
im proud of you, @paulabadosa.#Tennis #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/DoA9mLpbaB

— Leksa ミ☆ (@larissatwho) July 28, 2021

Vondrousova was ahead in the match when Badosa threw in the towel having won the first set 6-3 in 39 minutes.

Badosa was clearly struggling in the high temperatures and it became clear the 23-year-old was suffering from heatstroke.

The matches were taking place at lunchtime when temperatures were soaring. Novak Djokovic is among stars to have complained about the scheduling of matches during the day.

"I don’t understand why they don’t start matches at, say, 3pm," he said after his opening match.

"We still have seven hours to play. They have lights on all the courts."

Medvedev was equally scathing in his first match, saying: "You feel you have weights on your shoulders because there’s so much heat and humidity and stagnated air".

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