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Sport Will the Australian Open be CALLED OFF? Novak Djokovic says the whole event may need to be postponed because bushfire smoke is crippling players after Maria Sharapova's match was STOPPED and players struggle to breathe

07:15  15 january  2020
07:15  15 january  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

Sharapova: Brisbane feels like 'second-hand event'

  Sharapova: Brisbane feels like 'second-hand event' Maria Sharapova claimed the Brisbane International feels like "a second-hand event" after the women's tournament was shunted off the main court by the ATP Cup. Traditionally, men and women would have shared top billing but the introduction this year of the ATP Cup means no women's matches have so far been played on Pat Rafter Arena. © Getty (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) That will change on Thursday, when action at the ATP Cup switches entirely to Sydney, but the scheduling has come in for criticism.

Novak Djokovic , says the Australian Open in Melbourne may need to be postponed as Is the Australian Open about to be CALLED OFF ? Novak Djokovic says the whole event may Eugenie Bouchard was forced into a medical stop as she struggled to breathe on Tuesday due to the smoke .

Australian Open player collapses on court as bushfire smoke covers Melbourne – video. Worries over the health of players at the Australian Open have intensified after bushfire smoke forced one player to retire with breathing problems and another match to be abandoned, with air quality in

Novak Djokovic with his mouth open: Novak Djokovic (pictured above) has said that the tournament might have to be pulled completely in order to protect players © Provided by Daily Mail Novak Djokovic (pictured above) has said that the tournament might have to be pulled completely in order to protect players

Novak Djokovic, who sits on the Association of Tennis Professionals player council says the Australian Open may need to be postponed as players continue to struggle to compete due to the smoke-filled air, as Russian star Maria Sharapova has her match cancelled due to the poor conditions.  

Bushfires have ravaged Australia in the build-up to the tournament, which is due to start on January 20, with 27 people dead and more than 2,000 homes destroyed. 

Tennis star Maria Sharapova brands the Brisbane International a 'second-hand event' after she's forced to play on an outside court - and loses to an unheard-of qualifier

  Tennis star Maria Sharapova brands the Brisbane International a 'second-hand event' after she's forced to play on an outside court - and loses to an unheard-of qualifier Sharapova became the latest women's star to raise questions about the inaugural men's team tournament having a monopoly on Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane this week.But it seems she won't be getting too much sympathy from Australia's captain Lleyton Hewitt.

READ MORE: Australian Open 2020: Defending Novak Djokovic says tournament is 'really open ' ahead of first Commenting on the organizers’ decision to make the players compete amid the stifling heat and Maria Sharapova ’ s exhibition match in Kooyong was called off due to smoke from the

'I couldn't breathe ," says tennis player as Australian Open qualifying hit by bushfire smoke . Maria Sharapova ' s match against Laura Siegemund at the 2020 Kooyong Classic in Melbourne had to be called off The Australian Open is also set to host a rally for relief exhibition in Melbourne Park on

Players reported that they had been feeling sick while training and the first matches on court on Wednesday were delayed by at least three hours because of the smoke.

Video: Australian Open's qualifying matches delayed due to poor air quality (Daily Mail)

Melbourne Airport is operating with one runway as bushfire smoke continues to choke the city and horse races in the city have also been cancelled. 

The majority of Australian Open practice sessions are schedule for outdoor courts throughout the day, with just a handful being on indoor courts. 

Sharapova gets Australian Open wild card

  Sharapova gets Australian Open wild card Former World No 1 Maria Sharapova will be awarded a world card to play in this month's Australian Open.The 32-year-old Russian is currently ranked 147th in the world - after a season in which a long-standing shoulder injury restricted her to eight tournaments.

Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard saw their matches on Tuesday overshadowed by health concerns caused by 'hazardous' levels of The Australian Open will go on despite fears over smoke inhalation for players . Organisers insist the tournament will run smoothly despite issues on Tuesday.

Farce at the Australian Open as tennis star COLLAPSES after choking on bushfire smoke - before Maria Sharapova ' s game is called off . Slovenian player Dalila Jakupovic suffered a coughing fit on the court Tuesday. The 28-year-old had been up against Swiss Stefanie Voegele at Melbourne Park.

The organisers had previously said the tournament would go on as planned despite air quality in Melbourne dropping to 'the worst in the world' overnight. 

a man talking on a cell phone: Bernard Tomic of Australia receives medical attention in his match against Denis Kudla of the USA during 2020 Australian Open Qualifying at Melbourne Park on January 14 © Provided by Daily Mail Bernard Tomic of Australia receives medical attention in his match against Denis Kudla of the USA during 2020 Australian Open Qualifying at Melbourne Park on January 14 Tuesday's play saw former world No 1 Maria Sharapova end her match at the Kooyong Classic against Laura Siegmund during the second set, which both players struggling to breathe properly, while Eugenie Bouchard took a medical time-out during qualifying for the Australian Open as she fell ill in the smoky conditions.  

a view of a city: A general view is seen of smoke haze from bushfires at Melbourne Park, venue of the Australian Open practice sessions, in Melbourne today © Provided by Daily Mail A general view is seen of smoke haze from bushfires at Melbourne Park, venue of the Australian Open practice sessions, in Melbourne today IMPACT OF THE SMOKE ON OTHER EVENTS 

November 12: The Australian leg of the World Rally Championship is axed over concerns around smoke from nearby bushfires

Djokovic: No clear Australian Open favourite

  Djokovic: No clear Australian Open favourite Novak Djokovic says next week's Australian Open is wide open and expects the current crop of young talent to push for glory at the season's opening Grand Slam.Djokovic recorded a ninth consecutive hard-court win over world No 1 Rafael Nadal on Sunday as Serbia were crowned champions at the inaugural ATP Cup team event in Sydney.

Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts during her match with Laura Siegemond of Germany which was abandoned due to the smoke from Russian Sharapova ' s match with Germany's Laura Siegemund was called off with Siegemend leading 7-6, 5-5 after both players complained to the chair umpire.

Toxic smoke from raging bushfires hit the Australian Open build up Tuesday as a qualifier retired Former Australian Open semifinalist Bouchard also had problems and needed a medical time-out She recovered to win the third set and the match . Elsewhere in Melbourne, Maria Sharapova took to

December 19: A race meet at Tamworth was axed as organisers blame poor air quality from the New South Wales bushfires

Gallery: The strangest times when weather impacted sporting events (Grid)

The strangest times when weather impacted sporting events
December 22: Canberra's smoke-filled air forces players off the ground in a Big Bash League match between Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers. The game is eventually abandoned.

January 3: Events in Canberra continue to be impacted by the poor air quality from the fires as the city's air quality is ranked the worst in the world. Tennis Australia decides to move the Canberra International to Bendigo.

A W-League football match between Canberra and Newcastle is also postponed, while a game between the Canberra Capitals and the Perth Lynx at the indoor AIS Arena is also scrapped due to air quality concerns.

The Canadian complained of a headache before she sat down and was seen by a tournament medic © Provided by Daily Mail The Canadian complained of a headache before she sat down and was seen by a tournament medic January 4: The Karkarook Parkrun, an annual event in Melbourne's south-east, is cancelled due to air quality concerns. Meanwhile, the Bridport triathlon in Tasmania is abandoned after smoke from nearby fires  

Dart through but three Brits bow out

  Dart through but three Brits bow out Harriet Dart reached the second round of qualifying for the Australian Open in Melbourne, but three other Brits bowed out. Dart beat Bulgaria's world No 194 Elitsa Kostova 6-4 6-1 in 75 minutes, despite the poor air quality caused by ongoing wildfires.The 23-year-old will take on American 15th seed Nicole Gibbs next as she attempts to make the main draw in Melbourne.

'Scared' tennis player Dalila Jakupovic QUITS her Australian Open qualifying match in Melbourne while leading after having a coughing fit and struggling to Organisers at the Australian Open have been criticised for their response. Australian Open organisers postpone qualifying as bushfires

Toxic smoke from raging bushfires hit the Australian Open build up Tuesday as a qualifier retired with breathing difficulties and Eugenie Bouchard needed medical attention, while other players struggled in soaring pollution.

Men's world No 1 Novak Djokovic, who sits on the ATP Player Council, has already voiced his concerns for player safety and has suggested the tournament should be cancelled if smoke levels remain 'hazardous'. 

a person holding a cell phone: Eugenie Bouchard was forced into taking a medical time-out during Australian Open qualifying © Provided by Daily Mail Eugenie Bouchard was forced into taking a medical time-out during Australian Open qualifying 'If it comes down to those conditions affecting the health of players, I think we should definitely consider it,' Djokovic said on January 6, with what happened on Tuesday across multiple events unlikely to ease pressures on organisers. 

Frenchman Lucas Pouille, who is preparing to appear in the main draw, condemned organisers on social media for putting players in a dangerous position. 

'I keep reading that it's dangerous to play, to read messages from players saying it's outrageous to play,' he said. 

a woman holding her hand to her face: Dalila Jakupovic was in tears on the floor after being unable to continue at the Australian Open on Tuesday after her match was cancelled © Provided by Daily Mail Dalila Jakupovic was in tears on the floor after being unable to continue at the Australian Open on Tuesday after her match was cancelled 'I can't judge I'm not there. but my question is this. Why are you going on the court?'

Elina Svitolina added: 'Why do we need to wait for something bad to happen to do an action? #Melbourne.'

Reports in Australia say that an insurance policy would provide a nine-figure pay-out in the event of a tournament cancellation due to extreme weather conditions. 

Djokovic outlasts Medvedev to lead Serbia into ATP Cup final

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Struggling to breathe , she was forced to abandon the match she was leading 6-4, 5-6. He said he thought qualifying players may be treated more roughly than the star competitors whose Many players expressed anger that matches were played in such conditions, and at the lack of clarity or

As hazardous smoke from Australia' s ongoing bushfire crisis continues to blanket the city of Melbourne, Australian Open Tiley may be regarded by many players as one of the best tournament directors in the world, but he, and his A generation ago, the Australian Open was barely a major.

Players were told not to practice outside due to the fog that has descended over Melbourne, but the practice schedule is still running at full © Provided by Daily Mail Players were told not to practice outside due to the fog that has descended over Melbourne, but the practice schedule is still running at full World No 82 Dalila Jakupovic was forced to quit her qualifying match after she was left 'scared' and distressed during an on-court coughing fit led to her decision to retire from the match while up a set on her opponent.   

The decision to allow the match to take place saw organisers come under heavy criticism and things escalated thereafter with Sharapova and Bouchard high-profile players to see their health compromised.  

'Over two hours play and I actually started to feel a cough coming on at the end of the second set,' Sharapova said after her match was abandoned. 

'But I thought maybe because I have been feeling sick for the last couple of weeks it was something to do with that. 

a man sitting in a chair talking on the seat of a car: A spectator wears a mask as smoke haze shrouds Melbourne during an Australian Open practice session at Melbourne Park in Australia, Tuesday, Jan © Provided by Daily Mail A spectator wears a mask as smoke haze shrouds Melbourne during an Australian Open practice session at Melbourne Park in Australia, Tuesday, Jan 'Then, when I heard Laura (Siegmund) speak to the umpire about it saying she was struggling as well, I was like 'OK, thankfully I am not the only one'. 

'The umpire came down and said to play one more game but we were out there for over two hours and I think for my health stand-point it was the right call from the officials.'

Bouchard, who was determined to see her qualifying match through as she beat You Xiadodi 4-6, 7-6, 6-1, found it 'tough to breathe' in the second set.  

How Novak became master of Melbourne

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Toxic smoke from raging bushfires hit the Australian Open build-up Tuesday as a qualifier retired with breathing Tennis officials have said there is little chance of the Australian Open being delayed, but that air quality is being monitored and umpires can halt matches to protect players ’ health.

Toxic smoke from raging bushfires hit the Australian Open build up Tuesday as a qualifier retired with breathing difficulties and Eugenie Bouchard needed medical attention, while other players struggled in soaring pollution. Air quality in Melbourne, habitually ranked as one of the world' s most.

'I definitely started feeling unwell,' Bouchard said. 

'No cough, just heavy air, a bit tough to breathe and when you're out of breath after a long, tough point I felt I couldn't breathe well and that feeling made me a bit nauseous.'

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has insisted all the precuations to protect players are being taken and that smoke delays will be treated like rain or heat having delayed qualifiers by one hour on Tuesday morning. 

a group of people on a court with a racquet: Sharapova's exhibition match in Kooyong was impacted by smoke from the nearby bushfires. The sky can be tinted brown above the court © Provided by Daily Mail Sharapova's exhibition match in Kooyong was impacted by smoke from the nearby bushfires. The sky can be tinted brown above the court 'Like when it is too hot or when raining, play will be suspended should the above measures deem that necessary,' Tiley said. 

'We are also consulting closely with the WTA and the ATP and the decision we made this morning, both tours supported those and recommended those,' Tiley said. 'This is a new experience for all of us, how we manage air quality, and therefore we have got to rely on those experts that advise us how best to continue.'

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria is being used along with a dedicated team on-site to establish the air quality and whether it is safe to put players out on court. 

a group of people posing for the camera: The Slovenian is helped from the court by medical staff and later said she felt 'scared' on court due to the poor conditions caused by the smoke © Provided by Daily Mail The Slovenian is helped from the court by medical staff and later said she felt 'scared' on court due to the poor conditions caused by the smoke The EPA use five categories ranging from good to hazardous to determine the air quality and Melbourne is currently in the hazardous level.  

Australian Open's medical team and the Bureau of Meteorology are also conducting their own checks to determine the safety of play. 

Air quality is calculated by measuring the average concentration of a pollutant in the air over one hour.

Aussie Open matches could be played indoors due to bushfire smoke

  Aussie Open matches could be played indoors due to bushfire smoke Only three courts have retractable roofs, but organisers may have no choice.Australian Open officials say action will be confined to the three stadiums with retractable roofs and eight indoor courts if conditions become hazardous due to the bushfire crisis.

The match was eventually called off due to smoke conditions. Also, wearing such masks can significantly affect your ability to breathe , so take it easy and avoid exerting yourself The competition may be keen at the Australian Open , but air pollution is one foe that no human alone can overcome.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Gilles Simon questioned the experts that were making the decision on the air quality © Provided by Daily Mail Gilles Simon questioned the experts that were making the decision on the air quality That figure is then compared to the measurement guideline or standard for separate categories from one to 10. The Air Pollution Index currently has Central London at 30, falling into the 'good' category of air quality. 

Government advice to citizens in Melbourne and surrounding areas is to 'minimise the time spent in smoky conditions whenever practical to do so,' and it goes further to suggest they 'avoid exercise'.

Tennis Australia was already forced to move a tournament in Canberra due to the damaging levels of smoke making the facility unusable for players and spectators. 

a screenshot of a cell phone: Lucas Pouille was critical of a 'scandalous' decision to make players compete on Tuesday © Provided by Daily Mail Lucas Pouille was critical of a 'scandalous' decision to make players compete on Tuesday A Big Bash League match between Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers on December 22 was stopped and eventually abandoned due to smoke levels.

Formula One organisers are said to be closely monitoring the air quality in the coming days as fears grow over the the season opening race in Melbourne on March 15. 

Non-sporting events including Day on the Green music festival in Victoria's north-east has been forced into cancellation at the last minute due to the hazardous air quality and pressure is building on the Australian Open to delay the start of the tournament.   

a screenshot of a cell phone: Ukrainian player Elina Svitolina criticised organisers by suggesting 'something bad' must happen for action is taken to protect players at the start of the 2020 season © Provided by Daily Mail Ukrainian player Elina Svitolina criticised organisers by suggesting 'something bad' must happen for action is taken to protect players at the start of the 2020 season FIVE AIR QUALITY CATEGORIES 

GOOD 

It's a good day to be outside.

Moderate

The air quality is okay, but it could change soon.

It's okay to be outside but watch for changes in air quality around you.

Poor

The air is probably dusty or smoky. Sensitive groups may experience symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath.

If you are sensitive to air pollution, spend less time outside in the smoke or dust and follow your treatment plan. Reduce prolonged or heavy physical activity.

If you are coughing or short of breath, avoid being outside in the smoke or dust.

Close your windows and doors to keep smoke and dust out of your home.

Seek urgent medical help if anyone has trouble breathing or tightness in the chest.

Very poor

The air is probably very dusty or smoky. Everyone could be experiencing symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath. 

Avoid being outside in the smoke or dust. Reduce prolonged or heavy physical activity.

If you are sensitive to air pollution, follow your treatment plan. Avoid physical activity outdoors.

Close your windows and doors to keep smoke and dust out of your home.

If you think the air in your home is uncomfortable, consider going to an air-conditioned building like a library or shopping centre for a break if it's safe to do so. 

Seek urgent medical help if anyone has trouble breathing or tightness in the chest. 

Hazardous

The air is probably extremely dusty or smoky. Everyone could be experiencing symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath. Stay indoors away from smoke and dust.

If you are sensitive to air pollution, follow your treatment plan. If you can, remain indoors and keep physical activity levels as low as possible.

Close your windows and doors to keep smoke and dust out of your home.

If you think the air in your home is uncomfortable, consider going to an air-conditioned building like a library or shopping centre for a break if it's safe to do so. 

Seek urgent medical help if anyone has trouble breathing or tightness in the chest.  

MSN UK is committed to Empowering the Planet and taking urgent action to protect our environment against the climate crisis. We’re supporting those on the front line tackling the Australian bushfire crisis. Find out more about our campaign here.


Aussie Open matches could be played indoors due to bushfire smoke .
Only three courts have retractable roofs, but organisers may have no choice.Australian Open officials say action will be confined to the three stadiums with retractable roofs and eight indoor courts if conditions become hazardous due to the bushfire crisis.

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