World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev was mightily struggling in the Tokyo heat and humidity but he managed to beat Fabio Fognini and make the quarterfinal at the Olympics. Medvedev, who is having his debut Olympic campaign, was the first player to publicly call for different scheduling in Tokyo.
On Wednesday, Medvedev managed to make it past Italian tennis star Fognini 6-2 3-6 6-2. "I'm fine. I can finish the match but I can die. If I die will the ITF (governing body International Tennis Federation) take responsibility?" Medvedev said in reply, per Reuters.
Medvedev needed intervention several times
Medvedev took a medical timeout on the court and he was also visited by a trainer several times. "Even from the first set I didn't feel good enough with my breathing.
That's why I called the physio, I felt like my diaphragm was blocked," Medvedev said, adding that he felt it was the most humid day so far in Tokyo. "And then on the second set, I just had darkness in my eyes, like between every point, I didn't know what to do to feel better.
Like I was bending over and I couldn't get my breath together so I was ready to just fall down on the court." Medvedev made a positive start to the match, having broke Fognini in the first and fifth game to take a 4-1 lead.
The Russian then routinely served out for the opener in the eighth game. After winning the first set, Medvedev had a chance to claim the first break of the second set but Fognini saved two break points in the seventh game.
Fognini then earned his first break of the match in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead, before saving three break points in the ninth game en route to serving out for a decider. But Medvedev bounced back in the third set as he earned two breaks to win the set and avoid a surprise loss.