The dangerous air that enveloped Melbourne, Australia, delayed the game the first day of the Australian Open qualifying matches on Tuesday, which caused a player to double in coughing attacks during a match, as the country’s wildfires They spoiled the famous tournament.
Citing the “dangerous” air conditions caused by smoke from nearby forest fires blowing into the city, the city of Melbourne advised residents on Tuesday morning to “stay inside, keep windows and doors closed and stay inside “.
The city also closed the North Melbourne Recreation Center and the Melbourne City Baths for the sake of safety. But after a delay of one hour, the Australian Open continued to play, despite the fact that the air quality index remained in an unhealthy range, with temperatures in the low 90s that added to difficult conditions.
Dalila Jakupovic, a Slovenian player ranked 180, was winning her match against Stefanie Vögele in the middle of the afternoon when she knelt in a coughing attack. Struggling to breathe, she was forced to leave the party she led 6-4, 5-6.
Jakupovic, who had not had breathing problems before, said he was having difficulties “like an asthma attack” while preparing for combat.
“I think it was not fair because it is not healthy for us,” Jakupovic told reporters. “I was surprised. I thought we wouldn’t be playing today, but we don’t really have many options.”
Eugenie Bouchard, runner-up of Wimbledon in 2014, complained to medical staff that she also experienced chest pains, feeling “spikes in the lungs.” third set of Bouchard’s victory.
Bernard Tomic also sought medical assistance for respiratory difficulties in his party, and was treated with an inhaler.
Liam Broady, who takes pride in his conditioning, described himself as “breathless” after only 12 games. He said he thought qualified players could be treated harder than star competitors whose games start in the main draw next Monday.
“We may have to win the right to be treated as the players in the main draw do.” Broady told The Daily Mail. “But at the same time, we are all human beings and there is no doubt that it is very bad that you run in these conditions.”
The normally clear views of the city skyline from Melbourne Park were obscured by dusty air. A sepia dye floated in the air, and it was often heard coughing around the courts.
Many players expressed anger because the games were played in such conditions, and the lack of clarity or communication of the tournament.
“Surprised to see that the qualifying matches have started @AustralianOpen,” tweeted player Mandy Minella of Luxembourg. “What about the health of all the people who have to work there, especially the children?”
The fifth classified, Elina Svitolina, tweeted: “Why do we have to wait for something bad to happen to do an action?”
Across the city, at the Kooyong Classic exhibition event in Melbourne, a match between Maria Sharapova and Laura Siegemund stopped 5-5 in the second set due to poor air quality.
“We were there for more than two hours, so I think that from the point of view of health, it was the correct call from the officials” to finish the work, said Sharapova, who said that “he began to feel a cough that was approaching “at the end of the match.
Sharapova had struggled with the disease in recent weeks, and initially thought that could be the cause of her symptoms.
“When I heard Laura talk to the referee and tell her that I was also struggling with that, I thought, fortunately, I’m not the only one,” he said. “And then the referee went down and said: let’s play one more game.”