The devastating bush fire aftermath continues to affect the Australian Open leading to a delay for the second consecutive day
There has been heavy criticism against the Tournament organizers off lately due to the delays in the schedule and that the players are made to play despite the conditions not suitable for their health.
There were players who complained about breathing problems, Slovenia Dalila Jakupovic being one of them, who retired during her first-round match as she collapsed on the court.
The aftermath of the devastating bushfire had a smokey morning at Melbourne and hence led to a delay of three hours, although the air quality index continued to show conditions as “unhealthy”.
Awful scenes in Melbourne.
Dalila Jakupovic has abandoned her #AusOpen qualifying match after suffering a coughing fit while playing in thick smoke caused by the #AustralianFires. pic.twitter.com/WAJv6TzTjW
— ESPN Australia & NZ (@ESPNAusNZ) January 14, 2020
The tournament has a measurement to determine when to stop play because of extensively hot weather but had no declaration on what parameters does the air quality works.
Further decisions will be made based on onsite data, and in close consultation with our medical team, the Bureau of Meteorology and scientists from EPA Victoria.
As always the health and safety of our players, our staff and our fans is our priority.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 13, 2020
The chief health officer for the state of Victoria, Dr. Brett Sutton, called for that to change yesterday, telling local media: “Tennis Australia needs to work up an air quality policy.
“I can’t make a call on what individual thresholds might be, it really does depend on what it might mean to enclose a space and what filtration systems they might have as alternatives.
“But I think they need to consider through all those thresholds, from poor to hazardous air quality, what their alternatives might be with a view to protecting as many players as possible.”
A statement read, “Conditions are being constantly monitored and further decisions will be made using the onsite data and in close consultation with our medical team, the Bureau of Meteorology and scientists.
“Measurements early this morning were similar to yesterday when practice and play were suspended and delayed. Conditions yesterday were forecast to improve throughout the day, which is what occurred.”
On the other hand, players participated in many ways to contribute. Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer participated in a special exhibition yesterday named “Rally for Relief” to raise funds to help communities affected by the bush fire disaster. The game had raised £2.5million plus so far.