The ITF has announced that tennis matches at the Tokyo Olympics will start from 3pm, 29 July. The extreme heat and humidity has been causing problems from Day 1 and players have been urging the ITF for days to start matches at a later time.
One of the most vocal in urging the ITF to start matches at later date were world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and second-ranked Daniil Medvedev. "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.
Tokyo 2020 Tennis Event matches will being from 3pm from Thursday, 29 July 2021," the ITF statement read.
Djokovic wanted scheduling change for days
Djokovic demolished Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 in his Tokyo opener but afterward underlined it was extremely hard to pay.
"Obviously it’s the same for everyone and it’s something we’ve known coming into Tokyo, we expected that the conditions were going to be very tough, but before you come here and experience that you don’t really know how difficult it is," Djokovic said, per Tennis365.
“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 also added: "I don’t really get why ITF doesn’t want to move the matches. This was the last centre court match and it was finished before 5pm. “There is hopefully some kind of an understanding from ITF on what they’ve seen.
All the athletes train and dream of being at an Olympic Games and then playing for half an hour and retiring, you don’t want to have the Olympic experience that way. But we have to accept whatever the circumstances are”.