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Live updates: Novak Djokovic says current weather conditions in Tokyo are “brutal”

Novak Djokovic made light work of opponent Hugo Dellien in the opening round of the men’s singles at Tokyo 2020, beating the Bolivian 6-2 6-2.

However, it was a more grueling afternoon than the scoreline suggested, with the players having to contend with soaring temperatures and stifling humidity.

Weather team said temperatures on Saturday climbed to near 34°C (93°F) across the greater Tokyo region, with “oppressive” humidity levels above 80%.

“Very tough,” Djokovic said of the conditions. “Today, from also speaking to the other players, it was the hottest day so far.
“Humidity is brutal, because it’s very hot and also very humid, so the hard courts absorb the heat, and it stays trapped in there. Not much wind, not much breeze.
“Maybe other days there was a bit more wind, which helped refresh and cool down, but not much today, so it was challenging definitely, but I’m pleased to overcome the first hurdle.
“I was solid on the court, can always do better, but first match I’m satisfied.”

Djokovic, who recently claimed his 20th grand slam title with victory at Wimbledon, is aiming to become the first man in history to achieve the ‘Golden Slam,’ winning all four grand slams and Olympic gold in the same year.

Earlier on Saturday, world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev had suggested the tennis matches be scheduled later in the evening to allow players to compete in cooler conditions.

“I agree with him 100%,” Djokovic said. “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 7 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 TV 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 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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Live Update: Spectators gather to watch Olympic event in one of Japan’s rare public viewing sites

Five hundred excited spectators gathered Saturday at one of Japan’s rare public viewing sites in Shizuoka prefecture to watch the men’s road cycling race.

“Tokyo was chosen to host the Olympics. Even though the Games were delayed a year and are being held in very tough circumstances without spectators, as a Japanese person I feel proud the Games are happening,” Joji Matsubara, a Shizuoka resident and local spectator, said.

Matsubara, who said he was lucky to get a ticket to the public viewing event, out of 2,000 other applicants, said he had been looking forward to watching the road race.

The race sees athletes begin at Tokyo’s Musashinonomori Park, cycle through Kanagawa and Yamanashi prefectures and make their way to the finish line on the Fuji International Speedway in Oyama in Shizuoka prefecture, which is around 2 hours from Tokyo.

The Fuji Speedway is allowing 10,000 ticket holders to witness the last leg of the road race in a venue that usually seats more than 20,000 people.

The public viewing site in Oyama city allows spectators to watch the road cycling race on a screen, enjoy a small bouldering wall and is one of the few events open to the public in Japan.

Currently, spectators will be able to attend less than 12% of Olympic venues during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.

Just five of the 42 total Olympic venues across Japan will be open to fans. Tokyo is home to 25 of the venues, with the rest in seven prefectures.

Tokyo venues and four prefectures — Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama and Fukushima — will not have spectators at Olympic competition venues.

Miyagi, Ibaraki and Shizuoka prefectures with a total of five venues can be filled to 50% of capacity with a maximum of 10,000 spectators.

In Shizuoka prefecture, only three locations are organizing public viewing sites for the road cycling race.

“We had wanted to invite more people to see Shizuoka and see the road race, but we had to turn down many applicants due to the pandemic and keep this a very local event,” Rie Watanabe, an official from Oyama in Shizuoka prefecture, told reporters

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Protesters take to the streets ahead of Opening Ceremony

People protest ahead of the Opening Ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics on July 23, in Tokyo, Japan.

Protesters marched down some of the capital city’s busiest streets with banners to make their feelings known about the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 organizers’ decision to host the Games given the pandemic.

Ahead of the opening ceremony’s start, protesters took to the streets of Tokyo to voice their opposition to the staging of the Olympics in Japan.

Positive Covid-19 cases are on the rise in Japan and that has ensured many events will take place without spectators in attendance.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics has already been delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.