World number 16 Roberto Bautista Agut crashed out in the second round as the other favourites for the Generali Open battled through.

Bautista Agut lost the first set to Spanish compatriot Pablo Martinez in Kitzbuhel, Austria, and could not complete a comeback despite forcing a decider as he lost 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-5.

Top seed Casper Ruud, who won last week in Gstaad to claim his third ATP Tour crown of 2021 and fourth in total, came from 4-2 down in the first set to win 7-5 5-7 6-4 against Mario Vilella Martinez.

Third seed Filip Krajinovic survived a second-set scare to beat Carlos Taberner 6-3 2-6 6-4.

Arthur Rinderknech, who dispatched of fifth seed Federico Delbonis on Tuesday, awaits Krajinovic in the next round.

The other clash on Wednesday saw Sweden's Mikael Ymer cruise past home favourite Alexander Erler 6-2 6-3 to secure a quarter-final berth.

Ymer will now face the thankless task of challenging 22-year-old Ruud for a spot in the semi-finals.

Daniil Medvedev did not take kindly to a question over the controversy surrounding Russian athletes at the Tokyo Olympics after he battled through sweltering conditions to reach the quarter-finals.

Medvedev beat Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-2 3-6 6-2 on Wednesday in a match that was paused for 10 minutes due to on-court temperatures reaching 31 degrees Celsius, with humidity then adding to that.

The world number two had to receive medical attention on two occasions before he prevailed to tee up a last-eight tie with Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain.

Top seed Novak Djokovic continued his march towards the medal matches with a routine win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, though in the doubles, Andy Murray's hopes of winning a historic fourth Olympic prize were shattered.

 

MEDVDEV'S TEMPER FRAYS IN THE HEAT

It had already been a stressful day for Medvedev. The 25-year-old replied "I can finish the match but I can die. If I die, are you going to be responsible?" when asked by chair umpire Carlos Ramos whether he could carry on playing against Fognini following two medical timeouts. 

Medvedev's temper then boiled over in the media mixed zone when he was questioned over the contentious nature of Russian athletes competing at the Games.

The Russian flag is not represented in Tokyo due to sanctions against the country for state-sponsored doping offences. Russia is suspended from competing in global sporting events for two years – a ban that was reduced from an initial four-year punishment. Instead, athletes are competing under the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

Medvedev was asked if he feels the Russian athletes are "carrying a stigma of cheaters".

Seemingly misunderstanding the question, Medvedev hardly held back in his reaction, saying: "That's the first time in my life I’m not gonna answer a question, man. And you should be embarrassed of yourself."

Before leaving the room, Medvedev subsequently told the press officer: "I think you should [remove] him from either the Olympic Games, either the tennis tournament. I don't wanna see him again in my interviews. Thanks."

MURRAY'S PARIS PARTICIPATION IN DOUBT

There was to be no fairytale title tilt for former world number one Murray. He won gold in the singles in London and Rio, and also managed a silver medal at the 2012 Games in the mixed doubles, but he and Joe Sailsbury suffered a defeat to Croatian pair Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig in the quarter-finals.

The British pair won the first set but failed to make their advantage count, with Croatia's duo coming back to win 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 10-7.

Murray will be 37 by the time the Paris Games come around, and as he continues to carefully manage his return from hip surgery, the Scot could well have made his Olympic farewell.

"I don't know. I don't know if I'll get the opportunity to play [in the Olympics] again," he conceded.

"I love every minute of playing the Olympics. I wish that today would have gone differently. I had another chance with Joe to win a medal. We were so close and that is just disappointing. There was some stuff I wish I could have done at the end of the match to try and help out more. But yeah, very disappointing."

MIXED BAG FOR TSITSIPAS

While Medvedev, Djokovic and Alexander Zverev all progressed into the last eight in the singles, there was no place for Stefanos Tsitsipas, whose hopes were ended by Ugo Humbert.

The Greek world number four suffered a seemingly innocuous leg injury in the second set tie-break and failed to recover in the decider as Frenchman Humbert claimed the biggest win of his career.

However, Tsitsipas was swiftly back on court to play in the mixed doubles alongside partner Maria Sakkari, and the duo claimed a comfortable 6-3 6-4 victory over Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Asked after that win to discuss what went wrong in his earlier defeat, Tsitsipas replied: "I figured out a few things later during the match, like really, really late. 

"I think if I've had the same mindset or the same attitude, same vision that I had towards the very end of the match, I think things would have gone much, much smoother and better for me. It's something that I learned."

He also confirmed his injury was "nothing serious."

DJOKOVIC ON A ROLL

As expected, Djokovic is one win away from a shot at a medal in the singles, and he then followed up his victory over Davidovich Fokina by combining with Nina Stojanovic in the mixed doubles.

The Serbian pair beat Marcelo Melo and Luisa Stefani of Brazil 6-3 6-4 in just 70 minutes to book their place in the next round.

Djokovic will have the host nation against him in his next match, however, as he takes on Kei Nishikori, who is Japan's only hope of a singles medal after Naomi Osaka's exit.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has confirmed matches at the Tokyo Olympics will now start later in the day after concerns over player health and welfare.

World numbers one and two Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev have been among the players to complain about games starting too early in the day, citing the heat and humidity at Ariake Tennis Park as a major issue.

Indeed, on Wednesday, 25-year-old Medvedev struggled with the conditions as he battled to a 6-2 3-6 6-2 win over Fabio Fognini.

Despite being allowed 10 minutes off court at one stage, Medvedev was in visible discomfort during the last-16 tie, and had two medical timeouts before being asked by chair umpire Carlos Ramos whether he could continue.

"I can finish the match but I can die," the Russian replied to Ramos, per ESPN. "If I die, are you going to be responsible?"

The 72 per cent humidity meant 31 degrees Celsius felt like 37 degrees Celsius on the heat index. Medvedev was not the only player to suffer on Wednesday, with Paula Badosa having to be taken from the court in a wheelchair as she retired against Marketa Vondrousova due to heatstroke.

Earlier in the week, Medvedev had questioned the approach of starting matches in the late morning, while top seed Djokovic suggested scheduling the first games for 15:00 local time.

The ITF has now agreed, with start times pushed back to 15:00, meaning the majority of matches in the closing stages of the Olympic tennis will be played during the slightly cooler evening hours.

"In the interests of player health and welfare and following extensive consultation, the ITF has announced a change of schedule due to the increasing heat and humidity currently being experienced in Tokyo," an ITF statement read.

"The decision to start matches at 3pm JST from Thursday is possible due to the outcomes of today’s matches across the five competitons being staged and the size of the player field.

"[The decision] is designed to further safeguard player health."

Federico Delbonis and Laslo Djere crashed out of the Generali Open in the first round on Tuesday.

Fifth seed Delbonis and sixth seed Djere were the highest-ranked players in action on day two, but both fell to surprise defeats.

Delbonis, a recent semi-finalist at the Hamburg European Open, was convincingly beaten 6-2 6-4 by Arthur Rinderknech.

Frenchman Rinderknech fired down 10 aces and was only broken once in the contest.

Djere, meanwhile, put up more of a fight but ultimately succumbed to Daniel Altmaier, who won 4-6 6-3 6-3 in a battle lasting two hours and 10 minutes.

World number 50 Djere had also made the semi-finals in Hamburg and followed that up with another run to the last four at the Swiss Open Gstaad.

But his run of form came to an end as German Altmaier – who himself enjoyed a semi-final run in Croatia last week – booked a last-16 tie meeting with Marco Cecchinato after breaking Djere on six occasions.

Cecchinato had beaten Radu Albot in straight sets to reach the next round while qualifier Jozef Kovalik saw off Jaume Munar with a 6-4 6-4 victory.

The top four seeds, including number one Casper Ruud, will begin their campaigns at the ATP 250 event in Kitzbuhel on Wednesday.

Kei Nishikori was as surprised as anybody by Naomi Osaka going out of the Tokyo Olympics, but stressed it did not add to pressure on his shoulders.

Japan's two standard-setters in tennis are at opposite ends of their careers, with Nishikori seemingly in a slow decline and Osaka expected to add significantly to her four grand slams.

But the focus on the Japanese public looks set to switch to Nishikori for the rest of the tennis, after he reached the last-16 stage with a 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-1 win over American Marcos Giron on Tuesday.

Former world number four Nishikori and Ben McLachlan are through to the doubles quarter-finals too, which may be a likelier route to a medal.

Nishikori already has a bronze to his name from the 2016 Games, where he beat Rafael Nadal in the third-place match.

When asked whether he felt expectations shifting from Osaka on to his shoulders, after she lost to Marketa Vondrousova, Nishikori said: "Not really. I just need to focus on what I have to do on the court.

"It's very sad, of course, that Naomi lost and a surprise. But I knew she had a lot of pressure, this is her first time in the Olympics and I know it's not easy.

"I didn't see her match today, so I cannot say much."

Should Nishikori, now down at 69th in the rankings, beat Ilya Ivashka of Belarus on Wednesday, that could set up a quarter-final against hot favourite Novak Djokovic.


REVENGE FOR VILLAGE FAN TSITSIPAS

It was a weary Stefanos Tsitsipas who was pummelled in the first round of Wimbledon by Frances Tiafoe last month. On Tuesday, a more predictable outcome manifested as Greece's great hope scored a 6-3 6-4 victory over his American opponent.

That loss in London came barely a fortnight after Tsitsipas suffered a heartbreaking loss to Djokovic in the French Open final, from two sets up, and he was succinct with his verdict about what was different this time.

"Concentration and attention levels," was the Tsitsipas assessment.

Next for him is a testing third-round tussle with French shot-maker Ugo Humbert, and Tsitsipas will want to hang around, having been charmed by the Olympic Village experience after so long in the tennis bubble.

"It's a different contrast, it's a different approach completely," Tsitsipas said. "I've made friendships, connected with some other athletes. It's nice to be able to experience something like this. I find the Olympics are really a nice sports event.

"I met a big tennis enthusiast from India. He's doing shooting and we became good friends. I met some of the other Greek athletes, table tennis players, and rowers from different countries."


BRILLIANT BROADY

Liam Broady was a late addition to the Olympics draw and is making the most of the opportunity, with the unheralded British left-hander scoring a terrific 7-5 3-6 6-3 second-round win over Wimbledon semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz.

Frenchman Jeremy Chardy awaits Broady after beating Russian Olympic Committee's Aslan Karatsev in three sets.

There were also wins on Tuesday for Karatsev's countryman Karen Khachanov and Argentinian Diego Schwartzman, while Wednesday's programme features the entire third-round line-up, including Djokovic's clash with Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Andy Murray said the quad injury that ruled him out of defending his men's singles title at Tokyo 2020 has not been troubling him in matches, but his withdrawal was due to concerns over results showing up in scans.

The Olympic champion in 2012 and 2016 opted to pull out of the singles prior to his scheduled first-round showdown against Felix Auger-Aliassime on Sunday. 

Instead, Murray decided to continue in the doubles alongside Joe Salisbury, where the pair made the quarter-finals on Tuesday by beating German duo Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz 6-2 7-6 (7-2).

It means Murray remains on track for a third straight Olympic gold and he offered a bit of insight behind his decision not to play in the singles.

"I've had a bit of an issue with my quad," he said.

"It's actually not really been causing me many issues on the court like in practice or anything, there was just some stuff showing on the scans that made all the medical team a bit wary about it.

 

"I said to Joe that if he picked me to play doubles with him then I'd prioritise the doubles over the singles if I had any physical issues and that was the case. 

"It's disappointing for me because I do feel like I've been playing well, and I've loved the Olympics and I would've liked the opportunity to defend my title. 

"But that wasn't to be and now all the focus and energy goes towards the doubles and to try our best to get a medal there."

Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig await Murray and Salisbury in the last eight.

Pedro Martinez outlasted Lucas Pouille to set up a second-round clash with fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut at the Generali Open.

World number 97 Martinez came through Monday's longest match, which lasted two hours and 43 minutes, as a 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 winner.

Mikael Ymer, who reached the quarter-finals of last week's Swiss Open Gstaad, is also through to the second round in Austria after battling past Pablo Cuevas 6-3 7-5.

Qualifier Jozef Kovalik will face Jiri Vesely for a place in the quarter-finals, meanwhile, after beating ninth seed Jaume Munar in straight sets.

Also through on Monday was lucky loser Carlos Taberner, who took advantage of his second chance by battling from a set down to overcome Thiago Seyboth Wild 3-6 6-3 6-2.

World number one Novak Djokovic made light work of Jan-Lennard Struff to continue his progress at the Olympic Games, and he revealed he is thriving off the energy in Tokyo as he copes with the weight of expectation.

Djokovic is aiming to complete a Golden Slam this year, having already swept up the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles.

Olympic gold is next on his list, before the Serbian will head to the US Open.

Struff was no match for the 34-year-old on Monday, as he teed up a round-of-16 tie with Alejandro Davidovich Fokina by beating the German 6-4 6-3.

Djokovic will be joined by fellow favourites Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev, as the singles competition begins to hot up.

 

DJOKOVIC THRIVING IN TOKYO

Djokovic is aiming to become the first man in the Open Era to complete a Golden Slam, though even if he did not have such a feat in his sights, he would still have the expectation of clinching gold, given Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal chose not to compete.

"I think that once you reach the top spots of the rankings and start winning slams, you're going to experience different kinds of expectations and pressure from yourself and from people around," Djokovic said.

"It's kind of a normal thing that a lot of athletes from our sport have been experiencing in the past and it's going to happen in the future."

The 20-time grand slam champion also revealed he is splitting his time between a hotel and the Olympic athletes' village, as he looks to soak up the atmosphere in Tokyo, despite the ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

"I only stayed in the Olympic village the first few days in Rio, then I moved when the competition started to the hotel," he explained.

"Here, I'm between the hotel and the village but I'm spending every single day in the village mostly and the hotel is mostly for sleeping over, basically, and having my own routine in the morning.

"Other than that, I'm always in the village because it's just so special. Most of the tournaments I'm in a hotel anyway and this [Olympic Games] happens once in four years. Of course, I try to balance things out with keeping my own routines and things that make me feel good, but I'm thriving also on that wonderful energy in the village."

SPIDERCAM FACES ZVEREV'S WRATH

Alexander Zverev moved confidently into the round of 16, defeating Colombia's Daniel Elahi Galan Riveros 6-2 6-2 in just 71 minutes.

In fact, his greatest nemesis was the spidercam, which came a little too close for the German's comfort.

Zverev clipped a ball at the camera suspended above his head as he prepared to serve – the world number five claiming he almost hit the wire holding the device in place when he threw the ball.

"It was three meters above me, I almost hit the wire rope when I was throwing the ball. It just hung too low," he said, though the chair umpire disagreed.

There was ultimately no negative impact on Zverev's performance, and the 24-year-old will face Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili for a place in the last eight.

Basilashvili got the better of Italian world number 26 Lorenzo Sonego 6-4 3-6 6-4 to secure his progression.

 

MEDVEDEV MAKES HIS CLASS COUNT

The gulf in quality between Daniil Medvedev and Sumit Nagal of India was clear to see, as the world number two – who is representing the Russian Olympic Committee – cruised through in just 66 minutes.

Nagal, ranked 160th in the world, dropped serve in the first game of the match and never looked likely to recover, and the Australian Open runner-up breezed into the next round 6-2 6-1.

Medvedev will next go up against Italy's Fabio Fognini. The Russian has faced the world number 31 on four occasions, winning three times.

MURRAY (NO, NOT THAT ONE) DROPS OUT

Great Britain's Olympic team had a day to remember on Monday, but Jamie Murray and his doubles partner Neal Skupski could not carry on their run.

Kei Nishikori and Ben McLachlan, representing hosts Japan, got the better of the British duo 6-3 6-4.

Murray – whose brother Andy is also competing in the doubles but has withdrawn from the singles, in which he was defending champion – was called up as a late replacement for Dan Evans.

He has not made it past the second round in four Olympic Games, despite having won seven grand slam doubles titles.

Carlos Alcaraz won his first of possibly many ATP Tour titles on Sunday with an emphatic victory over Richard Gasquet at the Croatia Open. 

The 6-2 6-2 win in Umag meant 18-year-old Alcaraz became the youngest tour-level champion since Kei Nishikori won at Delray Beach in 2008, also aged 18.

Despite his tender years, seventh seed Alcaraz was too hot to handle for Gasquet, the highly rated Spaniard cruising past his significantly more experienced opponent in one hour and 17 minutes.

"I had a lot of good moments in this tournament. I beat five great tennis players," Alcaraz told atptour.com.

"I think that I grew up a lot in this tournament and I keep a lot of experience from this tournament. It's going to be useful for the future."

Gasquet, who needed more than three hours to overcome Daniel Altmaier in the last four, was hoping to win his first tour title since 's-Hertogenbosch in 2018.

"It was tough for me to play [with] full intensity. I had a tough match yesterday. It was tough, and especially with a guy like Carlos, who is playing really fast with a lot of energy and spin," Gasquet said.

"He’s playing unbelievable. He’s only 18 and of course he has a great future and I just couldn’t play at his level and his intensity.

"That was the key of the match and he didn't lose a point. He played well, very solid. He's a great player."

Stefanos Tsitsipas is taking inspiration from the grandfather he has never met after battling through to round two of the men's singles at Tokyo 2020.

Alexander Zverev had an altogether more comfortable progression at Ariake Tennis Park, while home favourite Kei Nishikori earned an impressive upset win.

Felix Auger-Aliassime was unable to make the most of two-time defending champion Andy Murray's withdrawal, but it was a good day for Hubert Hurkacz. 

Here's the pick of the action from day two of the men's singles.

 

TSITSIPAS OUT TO EMULATE GRANDFATHER

Greek ace Tsitsipas, a French Open finalist this year, had to dig deep for a three-set win over Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Should he manage to win gold in the Japanese capital he would be matching the feat of his grandfather, who won the football competition representing the Soviet Union in 1956.

"I've never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it," he said. "He kind of inspires me in a way. I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I'm proud of him. 

"It's something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I'm happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics."

ZVEREV LOVING OLYMPICS EXPERIENCE

Fourth seed Zverev coasted past Lu Yen-hsun 6-1 6-3 and spoke of how much he is enjoying being around other German athletes.

"Normally you don't have those guys around that much, you have your friends, of course you have people that are around you, but you don't sleep in the same room as them," he said.

"Yes it is very different but in a way very enjoyable. The Olympics are once every four years, and it’s five years now, so I think everybody is enjoying it and everyone is having the best time that they can."

Nishikori is playing at a fourth Olympics and upset fifth seed Andrey Rublev 6-3 6-4. For the 31-year-old the motivation is simple.

"It's [playing in Japan] something I always dreamed of when I was little," he said. 

"Especially now, with the Covid situation, if I can win as many as I can, I think it will bring better news, that's something I'm trying to do this week."

AUGER-ALIASSIME FAILS TO MAKE MOST OF MURRAY ABSENCE

Auger-Aliassime was scheduled to face Murray before the Team GB star pulled out with a quad issue and will instead focus on doubles.

The Canadian was felled by Murray's replacement Max Purcell, though, the Australian winning 6-4 7-6 (7-2).

Fellow seed Gael Monfils also crashed out but Hurkacz was a 6-2 6-4 victor over Luke Saville, while Diego Schwartzman also made it through.

Casper Ruud secured back-to-back titles by beating Hugo Gaston in straight sets to be crowned Swiss Open Gstaad champion on Sunday.

Ruud won the Nordea Open last weekend and added a fourth ATP Tour title of his career with a 6-3 6-2 defeat of Frenchman Gaston.

The Norwegian took his tally of tournament victories on clay this year to three, having also won the Geneva Open in May, and the 22-year-old will rise to ninth spot in the ATP Race To Turin on Monday.

Ruud saved nine of the 10 break points earned by first-time ATP Tour finalist Gaston, who only won 51 per cent of points behind his first serve.

Gaston, who had never been beyond the second round at an ATP Tour event before this week, was broken twice in each set as the 20-year-old was unable to halt Ruud's brilliant run on clay.

Left-hander Gaston broke straight back after Ruud went 3-1 up in the opening set but failed to back that up with a hold.

Ruud had as many as 16 break-point opportunities but got the job done in an hour and 34 minutes.

World number 30 Cameron Norrie has claimed his maiden ATP title after defeating Brandon Nakashima in straight sets in the final of the Los Cabos Open on Saturday.

British top seed Norrie triumphed 6-2 6-2 in one hour and 23 minutes as he marks another milestone in his career-best season.

Norrie, 25, now has the most wins on the ATP tour this year, going past world number one Novak Djokovic with 35.

The 19-year-old American could not handle Norrie's first serve, while the Briton converted five of his eight break points.

Norrie served for the match with Nakashima pressing him in a tight final game but the top seed rounded out a breakthrough win.

Norrie won 21 of 29 points on his first serve, going at 72 per cent, with Nakashima breaking him once.

Andy Murray's chances of winning a third straight Olympics title in the men's singles have been dashed by a quad strain.

The Team GB star was champion at London 2012 and Rio 2016, becoming the first player to ever defend a singles title in tennis.

Murray was due to start his campaign against Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime on Sunday but after consulting with medical staff he was told not to compete in both the singles and doubles.

The three-time grand slam winner started his doubles campaign alongside Joe Salisbury with an upset win over second seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Saturday.

Murray will continue his quest for a third Olympics gold alongside Salisbury.

"I am really disappointed at having to withdraw but the medical staff have advised me against playing in both events," Murray said via a Team GB news release.

"So, I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the singles and focus on playing doubles with Joe."

Murray was considered an outsider for singles success in Tokyo having been blighted by injuries in recent years.

His absence is a blow to a men's singles event already missing the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem, though.

World number one Novak Djokovic is the overwhelming favourite to win gold. The Serbian has already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in 2021 and is chasing Olympic gold and the US open to become just the second player after Steffi Graf to complete the coveted 'Golden Slam'.

Hugo Gaston is one win away from securing his maiden ATP Tour title, but he must overcome in-form Casper Ruud at the Swiss Open Gstaad.

Gaston, ranked 155th in the world, booked his place in his first tour-level final with a 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory over Laslo Djere of Serbia on Saturday.

The 20-year-old had never advanced past the second round at an ATP Tour event before this week. He has now won three matches in a row in a third set.

"I tried to take more time with my game," Gaston said. "I made a lot of mistakes in the first set, so I tried to change my game. My serve was better in the second and third set.

"I am really happy to be in the final. It is going to be a good match, but I will try to enjoy [this] moment."

Ruud, meanwhile, enjoyed a rather more straightforward procession in his semi-final, with world number 249 Vit Kopriva little match for the 22-year-old Norwegian.

The world number 14 needed just 74 minutes to win 6-3 6-0, reaching his second final in as many weeks following his success in Bastad.

Ruud has won 23 clay-court matches already in 2021 and is in the hunt for his fourth career title.

Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic cauldron will have helped increase the exposure for the sport of tennis around the world, according to Novak Djokovic.

Osaka was given the honour of carrying the torch on the short final leg at the Japan National Stadium before walking the steps to light the flame and end the opening ceremony.

The four-time grand slam champion is the face of the Tokyo Games in her home country, creating extra pressure on her shoulders as she bids to strike gold.

Djokovic appreciates the absences of legendary names Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is a blow, but he believes Osaka's presence is crucial for tennis in the battle for media coverage at the Games.

"It cannot be better for our sport, you are representing yourself, your country but also your sport in the Olympic Games, you're trying to get the hype and the attention towards our sport as much as you possibly can, so we're all contributing to that in the Olympic Village," Djokovic said when asked about Osaka's role in Friday's ceremony.

"There's a lot of attention towards the tennis players which is great, from the other athletes which is very nice to see, very nice to experience.

"Obviously you don't have Roger or Rafa. They are big stars and legends of our sport, but still there's quite a lot of great athletes, top players. Naomi is a home favourite and a lot of eyes are on her.

"Being at home playing is a lot of pressure, but it's great for our sport just in general to see that there's a lot of attention towards it."

 

Djokovic was speaking after overcoming Hugo Dellien with ease in his opening outing in the men's singles tournament, the Serbian triumphing 6-2 6-2 in just over an hour.

The quick win allowed the recently crowned Wimbledon champion to avoid staying out for too long in the Tokyo heat, an issue that led to Daniil Medvedev calling for matches to be pushed back to later in the day, allowing players to compete during the evenings when the temperatures have dropped.

"I agree with him 100 per cent," Djokovic said of Medvedev's suggestion. "I actually asked as well.

"My team captain, Viktor Troicki, was speaking to the referee a couple of times. To be honest, I don't understand why they don't start matches at say 3pm.

"I've heard for tennis there is some kind of curfew they have to finish at midnight, but if that's the case, I've just finished the last match and it's not even 5pm, we still have seven hours to play. 

"They have lights on all the courts, they're going to make life much easier for all of us tennis players, I just don't understand why they don't move it. 

"It's actually for the television broadcasters even better, because the later you play, the better it is for the United States and the time zones in Europe.

"I don't know, maybe the ITF (International Tennis Federation) can give you a better answer to why they chose to be played in the middle of the day. I doubt they will change the decision, but we're hoping that they will."

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