Tennis Player Retires Due to Scorching Heat at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/25/2021, 2:15 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 1 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 25, 2021. Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan reacts during her first round match against Nadia Podoroska of Argentina REUTERS/Mike Segar


Tennis is arguably one of the busiest sports on Day 3 of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. As the Ariake Tennis Park has 12 courts, each court hosts four first-round matches across the women’s and men’s singles tournaments.

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The searing hot temperatures in Tokyo provide little respite for players, given the physical requirements of the game. Earlier today, World No. 35 Yulia Putintseva retired midway through her first-round match against Nadia Podoroska. This retirement was due to the difficult playing conditions.

Putintseva becomes the second tennis player to retire at Tokyo Olympics 2020

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With temperatures soaring over 30 degrees Celsius in Tokyo, tennis players look likely to face a tough time at the Games. In addition, the humidity being well above 40% on average doesn’t help their cause either.

Although tennis matches on any day begin at 11:00 am local time, temperatures in Tokyo often hit their peak within the hour. This means players playing the first two matches of the day often struggle, which was the case with Putintseva today.

The Kazakh player faced World No. 38 Podoroska in a first-round match today. With Court 7 of the Ariake Tennis Park hosting this game at 11:00 am local time, the weather conditions played a part once again.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 1 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 25, 2021. Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in action during her first round match against Nadia Podoroska of Argentina REUTERS/Mike Segar

Despite losing the first set 6-7 (4-7), Putintseva came back to break Podoroska’s serve. Although she had a 3-1 lead in the second set, she retired because of the extreme heat on the court.

As a result, Podoroska advanced to the second round of the tournament by default.

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Zarina Diyas was the first retirement of the tournament

World No. 99 Diyas played French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in her first-round match yesterday. However, the Kazakh withdrew after trailing 5-2 in the first set itself, citing the same reasons as her compatriot Putintseva.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 1 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 24, 2021. Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in action during her first round match against Barbora Krejcikova of Czech Republic REUTERS/Mike Segar

Although there have been no other retirements so far, some players spoke against the playing conditions in Tokyo. However, any action towards altering the schedule to provide more favorable playing conditions remains to be seen.

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Sanket Nair

642 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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