Novak Djokovic’s bid for a Golden Slam is alive and well following a routine 6-2, 6-2 win over 139th-ranked Hugo Dellien of Bolivia in the opening round of the Tokyo tennis tournament.
The top-ranked Serb is attempting to become the first man to win all four major tennis tournaments and an Olympic singles gold medal in the same year.
Steffi Graf was the only tennis player to accomplish the Golden Slam in 1988.
Djokovic’s next opponent will be 48th-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.
Struff eliminated Thiago Monteiro of Brazil 6-3, 6-4.
Heat and humidity are quickly becoming a major issue for players at the Olympic tennis tournament in Tokyo.
The temperature soared to 33 degrees Celcius and the heat index made it feel like 38 degrees Celcius.
French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova says she wasn’t feeling great, although she still routed Sara Errani of Italy 6-0, 6-1.
Mona Barthel struggled with 10 double-faults in a loss to Iga Swiatek as a searing sun made it nearly impossible to see the ball once she tossed it.
Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev, who also competes for ROC at the Tokyo Games, called it “some of the worst” heat he has played in after eliminating Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan.
“I’m not going to lie. But you have to play,” Medvedev said. “That’s the Olympics, you go for the medal. You are not here to cry about the heat.”
Medvedev suggested that organizers move all matches to the evening to avoid the heat of the day.