High winds, anger, tears at Rio tennis

2016-08-07 18:24
Vinicius and Tom Olympic and Paralympic mascots (Getty Images)

Rio de Janeiro - German entertainer Dustin Brown made a tearful, injury-enforced exit from the Olympic Games tennis tournament on Sunday as high winds sparked havoc and anger.

Brown, playing with his flowing dreadlocks tucked inside a white rasta beanie hat, retired in the second set of his clash with home hope Thomaz Bellucci after turning his left ankle in a nasty-looking fall.

A furious Bellucci -- a friend of Brown's -- later lashed out at organisers for allowing the match to go ahead as strong winds battered the tennis venue.

World number 86 Brown, who dumped Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon in 2015, took an injury time-out to have his ankle strapped after his tumble but quit in tears moments later.

Brown had won the first set of the centre court clash 6-4 but was down 4-5 in the second when he called it quits.

He immediately headed for a scan at a nearby hospital.

Brazilian number one Bellucci said the match should not have started as winds of up to 25km/h buffeted the Barra tennis centre.

Play on the outside courts was delayed by 90 minutes as winds of up to 25km/h blew down umbrellas and tore up hoardings.

"It was almost impossible. I don't know how they allowed us to play like this. I have never played in these conditions," said 28-year-old Bellucci.

"The wind was so fast and the match became ugly. You just couldn't take any risks."

Bellucci, backed by a raucous home crowd, goes on to face either Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas or Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia for a spot in the third round.

"I hope Dustin gets better soon. He is a good friend of mine and it's always very sad to see a friend retire like this. I hope he gets better soon," he said.

Later Sunday, defending champions Andy Murray and Serena Williams, as well as top seed Novak Djokovic and 2008 champion Nadal get their campaigns underway.

Three of the women's top 10 seeds were knocked out on Saturday.

Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, American fifth seed Venus Williams, the 2000 Olympic champion, and Roberta Vinci, the sixth-seeded Italian, all suffered shock defeats.

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