Italy’s Fabio Fognini described playing conditions at the Tokyo Olympics as “extreme.”
Fognini, ranked at No. 31 in the world, beat Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-4 6-3 to reach the second round at the Tokyo Olympics.
Fognini plays next against Egor Gerasimov, who beat Gilles Simon.
“I don’t know if this is playing tennis or not. The conditions are far too extreme. Then the balls are very fast and fly. I played in difficult situations, for example in Australia, but this is really tough,” Fognini said, per Virgilio Sport.
Novak Djokovic and Dniil Medvedev shared same thoughts as Fognini
“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 after his opening round win.
“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.”
Medvedev also suggested matches should start at a later time.
“I think, like they do in Mexico, the matches should maybe start at like 6pm because the heat actually gets much lighter,” said Medvedev.
“We’re here and we know the matches will be early and you couldn’t practise at this time. I don’t think they’re going to change it in the middle of the tournament, but that’s what can be done and the fact we have only one minute between changeovers is a joke.
“I think if you ask 200 tennis players here, I think 195 will say one minute is a joke and it should be 1:30 like it is in Asian tournaments.”