Australian Open Qualifiers Delayed as Smoke Chokes Melbourne for Second Day

Qualifying matches for the Australian Open were delayed by three hours as smoky conditions from bushfires burning in the state’s south-east affected Melbourne for the second day straight on January 15.

Air quality in the city was rated ‘very poor’ by Victoria’s Environmental Protection Agency, which advised people to stay indoors away from the smoke where possible.

Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic was forced to retire from her qualifier on January 14 after suffering an on-court coughing fit, while other players also struggled with breathing issues during their games.

The international Grand Slam event organisers said conditions would be monitored during the day and would make a decision in consultation with their medical staff, the Bureau of Meteorology and health authorities. Credit: DAVEeye via Storyful