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Sport Tennis Australia releases air quality policy on eve of Australian Open

04:15  18 january  2020
04:15  18 january  2020 Source:   theage.com.au

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Australian Open organizers have been asked by a government official to create an official air quality policy , while players are criticizing " Tennis Australia needs to work up an air quality policy ," said Sutton in a press conference in Melbourne. "I can't make a call on what individual thresholds might be

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As the leading players prepare to hit the courts at Melbourne Park on Monday for the Australian Open, organisers have released the tournament's air quality policy.

The decision comes after controversy erupted during Tuesday and Wednesday's qualifying rounds when play continued despite a thick smoke haze caused by bushfires hovering over Melbourne, and the basis for the decision to play remained unclear.

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Several players who played on Tuesday suffered breathing difficulties with Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic forced to retire after suffering a coughing fit during her match while Britain's Liam Broady slammed officials on social media for allowing play to proceed.

Canada's Eugenie Bouchard admitted she was nauseous and suffered headaches after playing on Tuesday before sleeping for 11 hours. "I struggled a little," Bouchard said.

Broady was also critical of the lack of information provided to players with Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley later admitting they had initially decided to not provide detailed information about the decision-making process to players for fear of confusing them.

a person sitting on a blue court: Dalila Jakupovic had a coughing fit on court and was seen struggling on her knees and receiving medical attention in the second set of her match with Stefanie Vogele. © Supplied Dalila Jakupovic had a coughing fit on court and was seen struggling on her knees and receiving medical attention in the second set of her match with Stefanie Vogele. However, Tiley has stepped up communication later in the week and the air quality policy was made available on Saturday with decisions on whether play continues will be based on an air quality rating determined by analysing concentrations of air pollutants at Melbourne Park.

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Australian Open : 'Scared' Jakupovic retires from qualifier. The poor air quality and smoke particles will affect spectators as well as players, and some of the air quality levels that have been recorded equate to smoking large numbers of cigarettes a day.

Author Tennis Australia . Practice has been suspended until 11am this morning due to air quality concerns, and play won’t start before 1.00pm. Conditions at Melbourne Park are being constantly monitored and further decisions will be made using the onsite data and in close consultation with our

The air pollutants will be measured by air monitoring stations located throughout the precinct and particularly the particulate matter rating PM2.5.

If the PM2.5 concentrate reads less than 97 than play will proceed while a reading between 97-200 will "trigger discussion between medical staff and officials about the advisability or otherwise of proceeding with match play". Play will be suspended if the reading exceeds 200.

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If the reading exceeds 200 (leading to an air quality rating of five) then play will continue until an even number of games in the set are played unless the referee uses their discretion to stop play immediately.

Australian Sam Stosur said communication was the key to keeping players satisfied with the decisions while Germany's Angelique Kerber said she trusted the process being applied.

WTA CEO Steve Simon said in a statement provided to The Age that the WTA, which represents female players on the tour, were continuing to work closely with Tennis Australia on the issue.

"We will support the appropriate decisions that are in the best interest of the health and safety of the players, fans, staff and volunteers."

The ATP, which represents male players, has not responded to requests for comment.

  • Topics:
  • Tennis
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  • Australian Open
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  • Nick Kyrgios
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  • Ash Barty
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  • Serena Williams
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  • Naomi Osaka
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  • Rafa Nadal
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  • Andy Murray
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  • Roger Federer
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  • Novak Djokovic
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  • Alex de Minaur


Nick Kyrgios beats Karen Khachanov in Australian Open five-set thriller in Melbourne .
Nick Kyrgios survives a gruelling five-set match against Russian Karen Khachanov at the Australian Open to move through to a blockbuster clash with world number one Rafael Nadal in the round of 16. © Getty MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: Nick Kyrgios of Australia plays a backhand during his Men's Singles third round match against Karen Khachanov of Russia on day six of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.

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