World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev beat Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik 6-4, 7-6(8) in his first-round match at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. But while he won in straight sets, Medvedev had to battle hard throughout – especially in the second-set tie-breaker.
After the match, the Russian claimed that the hot conditions and short changeover times at the event are making things difficult for the players on the court. Medvedev’s match began just after noon in Tokyo, with the temperatures hovering around 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit).
“I think, like they do in Mexico, the matches should maybe start at like 6 pm because the heat actually gets much lighter,” Medvedev said after the match. “We’re here and we know the matches will be early and you couldn’t practise at this time.”
Medvedev also spoke about the changeover time at the Olympics – or lack thereof. The World No. 2 believes that 195 of the 200 tennis players at the event would agree that just one minute to switch sides “is a joke.”
The changeover time is usually 90 seconds long at other tennis tournaments.
“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 only havey one minute between changeovers is a joke,” Medvedev said. “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.”
Daniil Medvedev says he “wants the gold medal” but admits he’s not the favorite
One of the most consistent players of 2021, Daniil Medvedev is also among the favorites to win the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. The World No. 2 has been in top form this year, particularly on hardcourt. A finalist at the Australian Open back in February, Medvedev will have his eyes set on the top honor at the men’s event.
The biggest obstacle in the 25-year-old’s quest for gold is Novak Djokovic, who is gunning for an unprecedented Calendar Golden Slam this year. Daniil Medvedev acknowledged on Saturday that he was eyeing the gold medal, but in the same breath admitted that he wasn’t the top contender for it.
“My first goal is to try and win every match here,” Medvedev said. “When I come to the Olympics all I want is a gold medal, but we all know who is the favourite and it’s not me. I’m may be kind of close but not the favourite, so I just try to do my best.”
Daniil Medvedev will take on India’s Sumit Nagal in the second round.