Novak Djokovic demands Olympic bosses change tennis schedule after opening win in 91F oven
NOVAK DJOKOVIC called on Olympic bosses to change the tennis schedule to avoid the Tokyo blaze.
The action began at 11 a.m. local time yesterday at a very hot Ariake tennis park – with temperatures topping 91 ° F.
World number one Djokovic claimed a 6-2 6-2 victory over Bolivian Hugo Dellien as he continued his quest for the Golden Slam.
And the sweaty 34-year-old Serb called on organizers to stop forcing stars to perform at lunchtime.
Djokovic, who will face Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round, said: “I don’t understand why they don’t start the games at 3pm.
“I’ve heard that for tennis there is a sort of curfew so they finish before midnight.
“If so, I just finished the last game.
“It’s not even 5 o’clock. We still have seven hours to play.
“They have the lights on all the courts, they are going to make life a lot easier for all of us players.
“I just don’t understand why they don’t move it.
“I’m still waiting to meet the player who enjoys this kind of weather. Playing in extreme heat and humidity at 90% or God knows how much is very difficult.
“We expected the conditions to be very tough, but until you come here and experience it, you don’t really know how difficult it is.
“It was tough, and probably harder in previous games.”
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In response, the International Tennis Federation claimed that its “extreme weather policy” was implemented during the day.
This allows for a ten minute break between the second and third set if both players agree.
Play may be suspended if conditions are deemed unsafe and on center court there is a retractable roof.
An ITF spokesperson said: “The decision to hold 11 a.m. was made on the basis of data, a nine-day event and to take into account factors such as restrictions by local authorities in due to Covid and the unpredictability of the weather. “
Earlier today, Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury won their first doubles match.
The British knocked out No.2 seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-3 6-2 and face German duo Kevin Krawitez and Tim Putz in the second round.
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Murray, 34, said: “We have the potential to be a very good team and this result has shown it.
“Doubles are always tricky because matches can be summed up in a few points.
“If we keep the same kind of attitude and everything, if we prepare diligently, I think we have a chance to do well. But it’s not easy.
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