Olympic tennis player Paula Badosa left the court in a wheelchair after retiring from heatstroke

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Olympic tennis player Paula Badosa left the court in a wheelchair after retiring from heatstroke
Paula Badosa in a wheelchair. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
  • Tennis player Paula Badosa could not finish her match Wednesday at the Olympic Games.
  • The Spaniard had to lay on the floor, receive medical treatment, and left the court in a wheelchair.
  • Many tennis players have expressed alarm at the brutal heat and humidity in Tokyo.

Tennis player Paula Badosa left an Olympic court in a wheelchair after retiring from heatstroke in another example of the oppressive conditions athletes are enduring by competing during the day at the Tokyo Games.

Elite men's players Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev had already expressed alarm at having to contest their early singles matches while also battling the humidity and temperatures that hit 93 Fahrenheit.

On Wednesday, Badosa was unable to continue her quarterfinal match against Marketa Vondrousova of Czech Republic and withdrew after losing the first set 6-3.

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The extreme weather condition prompted Badosa to lie on the floor, where she received medical attention before leaving the arena in a wheelchair.

"I have suffered a heat stroke as you all have seen, and I did not feel fit to continue competing in the match," Badosa said, according to CNN.

"Along with the pressure of the competition, how special these days are, these are things that happen in sport - and today, I had to go through that terrain.

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"It was a shame to end my participation this way. The conditions have been demanding from day one, we tried to adapt as best as possible, but today the body has not resisted as needed."

Badosa added: "I leave with a feeling of pride for having given absolutely everything for my country, for having represented it in the most professional way that I could.

"I am going to focus on recovering, working to be well, and giving myself the opportunity to return to an event like this."

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Badosa is not the only athlete to complain about the heat and the humidity, as Medvedev asked a chair umpire in the middle of his third-round match against Fabio Fognini if he'd take responsibility if he died.

"I will finish the match, but I can die," Medvedev said. "If I die, is the ITF [International Tennis Federation] going to take responsibility?"

Djokovic also called the conditions "very tough" earlier this week.

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Athletes now compete later in the day

Tennis matches at the ongoing Olympic Games will now begin later in the day, rather than at 11 a.m. local time. From Thursday, matches begin at 3.00 p.m.

"In the interests of player health and welfare and following extensive consultation, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Tennis Event matches will begin at 3.00 p.m. JST from Thursday 29 July," the ITF said in a statement.

The "extreme weather policy" which has been in effect throughout the games, will continue when temperatures exceed 86.18 Fahrenheit, the statement added.

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When that threshold has been met, 10-minute breaks will be allowed should athletes request it.

Medvedev returns to the court Thursday for a quarterfinal match against Pablo Carreno, Djokovic will play Kei Nishikori, and, in the women's singles semifinal, Vondrousova competes against Elina Svitolina.

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