“I was like, ‘Oh, my God,’” Medvedev said the other day as he prepared to play Alex de Minaur of Australia. Medvedev is from Russia and, like many of the Eastern European players, can become awfully cranky in extreme heat.
In a quarterfinal match on Wednesday, he struggled to see the ball and relied on instinct to survive a grinding battle with his countryman and close friend, Andrey Rublev. For the second consecutive day, organizers used a new measure to bring relief — partially closing the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium to shade the court.
“One player gonna die, and they gonna see,” Medvedev muttered in the middle of the match.
Even still, after Medvedev prevailed in straight sets in two hours, 47 minutes, he slumped on his chair, draping a towel packed with ice around his neck, his head between his knees, begging for water. Had the match stretched to a fourth set, Medvedev said he would have used the 10-minute break to take a cold shower, even though he knew it might make his body stiff as a board.