Temperatures rose towards 35 degrees in the Big Apple, with humidity also an issue, but tournament organisers opted against fully closing the roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium and turning on the air conditioning.
The duo had ice packs around their necks at changeovers, while Medevdev twice called for a medical timeout as he struggled with his breathing. At one stage in the third set, Medvedev walked to his towel between points and spoke directly into the camera.
“One player is going to die and they’re going to see,” he said in reference to the sweltering conditions.
Asked after the match whether those were the toughest conditions of his career, Medvedev revealed that his vision was impacted by the heat.
“This and the Tokyo Olympic Games [were the worst conditions], it was brutal,” he said. “The only good thing I see in these conditions is that both [players] suffer. It’s tough for both of us.
“There were ups and downs but that’s so normal. At the end of the first set I kind of couldn’t see the ball anymore. I kind of played with sensations.
“Sometimes before the points I was like ‘wow it seems like he cannot run anymore’. But he was there all the time and I was like ‘damn, when is he going to be tired?’
Daniil Medvedev on the conditions in his match against Andrey Rublev:
“One player is gonna die. And they’re gonna see.” pic.twitter.com/zQhXWmdGQU
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 6, 2023
“But actually we were tired all the time. So yeah, brutal conditions and super tough to win.”
Humidity remained a problem though, with Alcaraz seen rubbing sawdust onto his arms and hands during the match to help with his grip and reduce sweating.