Olympics-Tennis-World number two Medvedev struggles to breathe but reaches quarterfinals

Medvedev called for the trainer saying he was having trouble breathing

  
Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Tennis - Men's Singles - Round 3 - Ariake Tennis Park - Tokyo, Japan - July 28, 2021. Daniil Medvedev of the Russian Olympic Committee celebrates after winning his third round match against Fabio Fognini of Italy.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Tennis - Men's Singles - Round 3 - Ariake Tennis Park - Tokyo, Japan - July 28, 2021. Daniil Medvedev of the Russian Olympic Committee celebrates after winning his third round match against Fabio Fognini of Italy.

Reuters/Miker Segar

TOKYO - World number two Daniil Medvedev is through to the quarterfinals of the men's singles at the Tokyo Games, prevailing 6-2 3-6 6-2 over Italian Fabio Fognini despite struggling in hot and humid conditions on Center Court.

The 25-year-old, who is competing in his maiden Games for the Russian Olympic Committee, had called for the trainer saying he was having trouble breathing during the third round encounter at Ariake Tennis Park.

"Even from the first set, I didn't feel good enough with my breathing. That's why I called the physio, I felt like my diaphragm was blocked. I couldn't breathe properly," Medvedev told reporters.

The two-time Grand Slam finalist on Wednesday reiterated his call from last week, asking for organisers to delay matches to later in the afternoon to protect players from the stifling conditions.

"They should start the matches later - (I've) said it from the first round. I continue saying it," he said.

Medvedev was leading 5-2 at the start of the contest when he received treatment on his stomach after requesting a medical timeout.

He went on to serve out the first set but never seemed comfortable in the second, calling for the trainer again shortly before being broken by Fognini to take the match to a decider.

Medvedev was in better form in the final set, going up 3-0 and breaking the Italian's serve again to seal the win.

He next plays Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, who beat Dominik Koepfer of Germany 7-6(7), 6-3.

Ukraine's world number six Svitolina, the highest surviving seed in the women's singles draw, kept her medal hopes alive by advancing to the semi-finals with a 6-4 6-4 win over an error-prone Camila Giorgi of Italy.

The newly-wed Svitolina, watched on by husband and French tennis player Gael Monfils, had exited the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro five years back at the same stage but her defensive skills were enough against an ultra-aggressive Giorgi.

"It was a really good game. I felt much better today than all other matches. There is lots of room for improvement, but my serve is getting better," Svitolina said.

Giorgi, ranked 61st, stepped up her level after falling down 5-1 and looked set to level things at 5-5 but Svitolina managed to hold on to her serve and converted her fourth set point to take the opener.

There was more fightback from Giorgi, who had 36 unforced errors, in the second set but the Ukrainian stayed firm and converted her first matchpoint with her sixth ace to set up a semi-final showdown against Czech Marketa Vondrousova, who advanced after her Spanish opponent Paula Badosa retired due to illness after losing the opening set 6-3.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff Editing by Shri Navaratnam) ((rozanna.latiff@thomsonreuters.com; +61 3 9492 9423 ; Reuters Messaging: @rozlatiff on Twitter))


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