Sports News

Australian Open ‘is happening’ despite air quality concerns, says tournament director

Australian Open qualifying was delayed earlier this week because of the poor air quality
2020 Australian Open
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 20 January to 2 February
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and online; Live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.

Australian Open organisers are confident the tournament will start and finish on time despite continuing health concerns over Melbourne’s air quality from bushfires in the country.

Some players have complained about having to play qualifying matches in smoky conditions.

“There is a lot of speculation about the Australian Open not happening, or starting later,” said tournament director Craig Tiley.

“The Australian Open is happening.”

Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic had to be helped off court when she retired from her qualifying match on Tuesday because of the “unhealthy” air quality.

British player Liam Broady said having to play his first-round qualifier on the same day “made his blood boil”, adding he was “gasping for air” as he lost to Belarusian Ilya Ivashka.

People in Melbourne were advised to stay indoors