Coughing fit sees player quit Australian Open qualifying

Coughing fit sees player quit Australian Open qualifying”

Matches were pushed back by an hour and play had been underway for a few hours before conditions again deteriorated, creating difficulties for some players.

Footage from ESPN Australia shows Dalila Jakupovic collapsing during a coughing fit in her qualifying match against Switzerland's Stefanie Voegel.

"It was very hard for me to breathe for the whole match.

I think both of us felt it", Sharapova told reporters.

The Australian Open is scheduled to run from January 20 to February 2.

But that did not help qualifier Jakupovic, who had to be helped from the court after retiring at 6-4 5-6. "That's why I went onto the floor, because I couldn't walk anymore". "I was surprised - I thought we would not be playing today, but we don't have much choice".

Rain and cooler weather expected to hit the state on Wednesday afternoon will help disperse the bushfire smoke, improving the air quality forecast for Thursday to a moderate rating.

Footage of the incident shows a clearly deeply distressed Jakupovic struggling to catch her breath, with concerned officials rushing to her side.

"But this is a new experience for all of us, how we manage air quality and therefore we've got to rely on those experts that advise us on how best to continue".

"In the unlikely case of extreme smoke conditions, the roofs will be closed on the 3 stadium courts and play will continue in their air-conditioned, air-filtered environment", according to a tweet Australian Open's official Twitter account.

Polluted air caused by the bushfires raging across the country meant practice sessions were halted on Tuesday ahead of next week's Australian Open, the first Grand Slam in the tennis calendar.

"When we find doctors who say that playing at 45 degrees is not risky at the [Australian Open] and referees who say that the wet grass is not slippery at Wimbledon, we must be able to find an expert who certifies that the air quality is sufficient, right", Simon tweeted.

At the Kooyong Classic, in the Melbourne suburbs, players and officials made a decision to stop play between Maria Sharapova and Laura Siegemund at 5-5 in the second set due to the smoke.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the USA move to scale back its travel warning and said Australia was "very much open for business", amid concerns the fires would damage the tourism industry and the broader economy.

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