Dramatic scenes unfolded at Sydney’s ATP Cup on Wednesday night when tennis star Nikoloz Basilashivili began struggling to breathe early in his match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, forcing play to be cancelled.

Australia’s vaccination rules mandate all players taking part in the ATP Cup to be fully vaccinated, a rule that caused Novak Djokovic to withdraw from the tournament last month.

Nikoloz Basilashvili had to end his ATP Cup match early due to breathing difficulties

Basilashivili, who is ranked No. 22 in the world, was representing his country Georgia on Wednesday and was serving 4-1 down in the first set when play was suddenly halted.

The 29-year-old walked slowly to his team’s bench and tried to take some deep breaths and sip some water as he waited for the physio to come on to court. The pair had a conversation before another doctor joined as hand gestures suggested he was feeling tightness in his chest.

The Georgian tennis star was overheard saying:

Every shot I’m out of breath.

Former British tennis star Colin Fleming said on commentary:

This is concerning, very concerning I would say.

If you feel like you can’t take any kind of deep breath at this level and this intensity, that’s an issue.

Basilashvili headed off the court with the medics while Tsitsipas kept warm by rallying with one of his Greek teammates. However, when he returned, the players shook hands and the umpire confirmed the withdrawal.

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By Daemon

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