Australian Open player quits after coughing, falling due to smoky air

Risky conditions pushed back the first qualifying matches on Tuesday (January 14th), with Dalila Yakupovic falling to her knees and having trouble breathing, forcing the Slovenian to retire from the match with Stefania Vogel.

"It's been hard to watch", said the Swiss star of the bushfires.

The hazy conditions were not expected to last all week in Melbourne, with a change in wind direction and the forecast wet weather set to clear the city's air by Wednesday night.

A fan in a respiratory mask at Melbourne Park this week.

Australian Open organisers pushed ahead with qualifying rounds on Tuesday.

A local resident commented that the air quality was none like they had seen before, and another said of the tennis match "I think it was pretty ridiculous that they had to play".

After heavy criticism of organisers for completing the schedule on Tuesday despite air quality readings showing as hazardous, Wednesday's opening matches were moved back from the original start time of 10am. Racing Victoria also cancelled two horse race meetings on Wednesday.

Canadian tennis player Brayden Schnur has labelled all-time greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal "selfish" and more concerned about their legacies, saying it's time the pair stepped up and protested against playing conditions during Australian Open qualifying. Like the heat rule, there should be an air quality rule. However it said the "hit and miss" nature of thunderstorms meant it was hard to predict exactly where the heaviest rain would fall.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka responds to Uganda deportation claims
But I was later informed that she was being detained by security officers at the hotel who said they were offering her security. Enanga said, "The ordinary visa can not enable her perform in any income-generating activity within the country.


Australia has experienced one of its worst bushfire seasons on record, with fires burning for months and killing 28 people, destroying more than 2,500 homes and razing forests and farmland the size of Bulgaria.

The fires have prompted an outpouring of donations from around the world to help communities and devastated animal populations.

The country's environment minister Sussan Ley has warned that in some areas, koalas may have to be reclassified as endangered.

Jakupovic, who was one set up against Switzerland's Stefanie Vögele, fell to her knees, struggling to breathe at the end of the second set.

"I was really scared that I would collapse", she said.

Other players, including number 5 in the world, Elina Svitolina, have qualified for the qualification.

The Ukrainian posted a picture of the AQI in Melbourne and tweeted: "Why do we need to wait for something bad to happen to do an action?"

  • Lawrence Cooper