NEW YORK -- Soaked with sweat as the temperature neared 95 degrees Fahrenheit on the hottest day at this year's US Open, 2021 champion Daniil Medvedev walked slowly to towel off between points of his victory Wednesday, looked into a courtside camera and issued what sounded like a mix between a warning and a plea.
"You cannot imagine," he said. "One player [is] going to die, and they're going to see."
"The only thing that is a little bit, let's call it dangerous, is that the question is: How far could we go?" Medvedev, a 27-year-old Russian seeded No. 3, said after eliminating Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the semifinals at Flushing Meadows for the fourth time.
"I'm not sure what can we do. Because probably we cannot stop the tournament for four days -- because it's been, what, three, four days it's been brutal like this? Because then it basically ruins everything: the TV, even the tickets, everything. It ruins everything," said Medvedev, who said he needed an ice bath and something to eat after leaving the court. "So I don't think this could be done."
Week 2 at the US Open is pushing players to the limit; they're using ice -- so much ice, in plastic bags or wrapped in towels -- and courtside tubes blowing cold air to try to stay cool.
Medvedev used an inhaler during a second-set changeover Wednesday while being looked at by a doctor, who checked his breathing with a stethoscope. Rublev leaned back on his sideline chair as if he would rather be anywhere else.
"At the end of the first set, I couldn't see the ball anymore," Medvedev said, adding that he looked across the net at No. 8 seed Rublev -- his countryman, good pal and godfather to his daughter -- and thought: "Wow. It seems like he cannot run anymore."
Medvedev wore a white towel around his neck during the on-court interview at Arthur Ashe Stadium after finishing off the 2-hour, 48-minute match, which is relatively short for a best-of-five-set Grand Slam men's match.
Medvedev said he felt dizzy afterward and that both he and Rublev rubbed their faces raw by toweling off so frequently. Rublev described feeling his heart racing between points.
Asked about his level of concern on a day like that, Rublev said: "I'm not even thinking about my health."
Medvedev won nine of his 15 return games against Rublev, who is now 0-9 in major quarterfinals.
Now Medvedev gets some time to try to recover.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.