Matches at the Tokyo Olympics will now begin later in the day due to hot and humid conditions in the Japanese capital, tennis organizers announced on Wednesday.
Matches at the Ariake Tennis Park, which had started at 11 a.m. local time until Wednesday will now begin at 3 p.m. local time from Thursday.
The decision had been made “in the interests of player health and welfare,” and following “extensive consultation” with athletes, referees, medical experts and other key stakeholders, among others, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said in a statement.
The ITF reiterated that male and female players could request ten-minute breaks during play should temperatures exceed 30.1 degrees Celsius (86.2 degrees Fahrenheit).
Wednesday’s announcement comes after some players said they were feeling the effects of the weather conditions.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Olympic Committee player Daniil Medvedev told chair umpire Carlos Ramos that he could finish his men’s singles third-round match against Fabio Fognini -- but wanted to know whether the ITF would take responsibility if he died.
Meanwhile, Spain’s Paula Badosa was forced to retire from her women’s singles quarterfinal match against Czech Marketa Vondrousova due to heatstroke.