Daniil Medvedev warned a player could die in the 90-degree heat at the US Open.
Medvedev needed medical attention and an inhaler as he struggled in the hot and humid conditions before beating his fellow Russian Andrey Rublev.
The roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium was partially closed to protect the players from the sunlight, but both were visibly wilting during the two hour 48-minute battle.
Late in the third set, when Medvedev went to his towel, he said into a television camera: “One player is gonna die and they’re gonna see.”
Following his 6-4 6-3 6-4 quarter-final victory, the 2021 champion recalled an incident earlier this summer when Chinese player Wu Yibing collapsed during a match in Washington.
He said: “I could talk a lot, brutal conditions for both of us.
“I mean, I don’t know if it could be seen through the camera, because we are sweating so much and use a lot of towels.
“I have no skin left on my nose here, and, like, here it’s red, but it’s not because of the sun so it’s not like you’re burned but I have no skin left.”
He continued: “I just saw Andrey in the locker room and his face is very red, and it’s also not because of the sun so I guess it’s the same. That tells everything, like we left everything out there.
“The thing is that even if it would go further, I think we would still leave even more. Then I don’t think I had anything left but if the match would go on, I would find something more.
“And the only thing that is a little bit, let’s call it dangerous, is the question how far could we go? Maybe we could go five sets and it would be… when I say ‘fine’, yeah, we would struggle a little bit next day and it would be fine, or we have a person in Wu who fell down.”
Medvedev said he felt shaky as he tried to recover from the match.
“I’m feeling kind of okay now. I’m just pretty exhausted. Let’s say, yeah, do couple of interviews here and there straightaway, and it was tough.
“I was with an ice towel there. Everything was foggy, like I couldn’t see clearly. Because the match is over, so the adrenaline is not there anymore.
“So I was, like, a little bit shaky. Then I come to the locker room and that’s the toughest part because you kind of want to just sit there for hours. But you know that if you do it, it’s not a good recovery.”
He continued: “So I sat there for, like, 10, 15 minutes, went and did a quick ice bath. Changed. Went to eat. But had, I don’t know how you call it in English, when sugar blood, sugar levels go up. I started sweating, my head started turning.
“I said to my team please bring me any food. I was sitting there like this sweating like hell even with the AC on, and they brought some food and then I felt better. Yeah, that’s how it is sometimes.”
Rublev, who has now lost nine out of nine quarter-final matches at grand slams, said: “I’m not even thinking about my health.
“I don’t know. At this moment, these moments I’m thinking that I need to fight. Doesn’t matter how, it’s tough.
“I mean, the sport is not easy. And you need to be ready for everything that can happen.”