Scorching temperatures at the US Open have sparked a shock courtside outburst from Russian champion Daniil Medvedev.
The world No 3 was battling it out against good friend Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals when he approached the camera to warn “one of us is going to die”.
“You cannot imagine. One player is going to die and they are going to see,” Medvedev said, looking directly into the lens.
Temperatures soared to 33C (91F) on Wednesday as the Russian stars thrashed it out through three agonising sets.
High humidity pushed the players even further, with Medvedev complaining after the match that there were times he struggled to see the ball.
“It was brutal. The only good thing I see in these conditions is both suffer, so it’s tough for both of us,” said the 2021 US Open champion.
“At the end of the first set, I kind of couldn’t see the ball anymore! I played with sensations and tried to go for it, tried to run and tried to catch the balls. He did the same sometimes.
“Brutal conditions and super tough to win.”
Despite the roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium being half-closed, Medvedev needed the trainer twice and as well as the use of an inhaler to keep going.
Sky Sports pundits Tim Henman and Martina Navratilova said it was clear the players were struggling.
“To watch that match with Rublev and Medvedev was brutal. You could see they were fighting so hard and they had so little energy left in the tank, it was almost if they were playing on instinct,” said Henman.
Martina Navratilova added: “I was cooking in the shade and was like these guys are putting it out there. The only thing you can think of is how you can stay cool. It’s really hard to have that tennis brain going.”
Medvedev will go on to the semi-finals of the US tournament after winning the match 6-4 6-3 6-4.