Melbourne smoke causes Slovenian tennis player Dalila Jakupovic’s coughing fit

Paola Ditto
Gennaio 14, 2020

Tennis Australia faced fierce criticism after a player retired with breathing difficulties in the opening round of qualifying matches for the Australian Open.

Slovenian hopeful Dalila Jakupovic had her Open aspirations dashed after she succumbed to breathing issues in the second set of her matchup against Switzerland's Stefanie Vögele.

The Canadian, who has been ranked as high as fifth in the world, called multiple medical timeouts in her 4-6 7-6 6-1 victory of China's Xiaodi You at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.

Former world number Maria Sharapova also struggled in the heat and smoke, with her Kooyong Classic match called off late in the second set.

Players and officials chose to stop play at 5-5 in the second set.

"This morning when we got up, the smoke haze was significant".

Melbourne started the day with hazardous air pollution as smoke from wildfires in Victoria's east and in southern New South Wales state drifted through.

It's an obvious concern with the world's eyes set to be glued on Melbourne during the two-week championship from Monday when thousands of global and Australian tennis fans will also throng to the precinct.

Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton said he believed Melbourne's air quality had dropped to "the worst in the world".

"Conditions onsite are improving and are being constantly monitored".

"We have now real-time raw data that we can collect - we have installed measuring devices on-site for air quality".

"We will stop if conditions become unsafe based on medical advice", he said.

In distressing scenes this afternoon, a player competing in the qualifying rounds of the Australian Open has had to withdraw from the tournament after suffering a coughing fit brought on by the shocking air quality in Melbourne today as a blanket of bushfire smoke continues to linger across the city.

Tournament organizers said last week that play would be confined to Melbourne Park's three roofed stadiums and eight indoor courts in the "unlikely case of extreme smoke conditions".

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE