Paula Badosa first Olympic experience was cut short because of extreme heat in Tokyo. The Spanish player retired after losing the first set of her quarterfinal against Czech Marketa Vondrousova and was escorted from the court in a wheelchair.
Players are struggling with extreme temperatures and ATP world No.1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia criticized the organizers for not rescheduling matches to start later in the day. Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, who was on the verge of fainting in his Wednesday’s encounter with Fabio Fognini, said to the umpire: “I can finish the match, but I can die. If I die, who will take responsibility?” Medvedev did manage to complete the match that started at 11 a.m. local time and progressed into the quarterfinals with a 6-2 3-6 6-2 win.
a very metal moment in the Olympic tennis just now as Medvedev casually asks what happens if he dies on the court pic.twitter.com/kotZxePtEw
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) July 28, 2021
The world No.29 Badosa is having a career-best season and she seemed like a top contender in Tokyo, so it is very unfortunate that extreme weather ruined her hopes of an Olympic medal. During the quarterfinal, the 23-year-old consulted the medical team several times, but high humidity and heat were too much for her to handle and she didn’t even have the energy to leave the court on her feet.
🎾 Así ha tenido que retirarse @paulabadosa de la pista tras abandonar su partido de cuartos ante Vondrousova
🥵 Se ha retirado afectada por un golpe de calor
— Tiempo de Juego (@tjcope) July 28, 2021
Vondrousova, who had eliminated Naomi Osaka in the previous round, will face fourth seed Elina Svitolina in the semis, as the Ukrainian dismissed Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-4 6-4.