Australian Open 2020 Suspends Play for the Second Day in a Row

Published 01/15/2020, 5:21 AM EST


For the second consecutive day, the Australian Open 2020 was forced to suspend practice and qualifiers due to poor air quality. The Victorian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rated the air quality ‘very poor’ as the toxic smoke remains to shroud Melbourne.

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The organisers announced on Wednesday that the practice had been suspended at Melbourne Park until 11 am time. Furthermore, the qualifying matches were also adjourned.

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Conditions being constantly monitored at the Australian Open 2020

The hazardous air quality in Melbourne has forced the EPA to issue an advisory for the citizens. The agency asked people in smoke affected areas to take care, stay indoors and be away from smoke where possible and limit exposure. Tennis Australia also took some precautionary measurements after a series of complaints from several players on Tuesday.

“Conditions at Melbourne Park are being constantly monitored,” Tennis Australia said on Wednesday. “Further decisions will be made using onsite data and in close consultation with our medical team, Bureau of Meteorology and scientists from EPA Victoria.”

Many players including Bernard Tomic and Elina Svitolina criticised the organisers. Tomic required medical treatment as he struggled to breathe during his loss in the first round.

Furthermore, Dalila Jakupovic feared passing out before retiring from her match when she was struggling with coughing problems. The British No.5 Jay Clarke revealed that smoke was leaking into the indoor courts at Melbourne Park yesterday.

Also Read: Australian Open 2020 in Serious Trouble as Player Abandons Match in Hazardous Air Conditions

“They need to plan out an air quality policy”: Chief Health Officer

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The qualifiers of the Australian Open 2020 got underway from Tuesday after an hour’s delay. However, the decision to carry on with the event has come under scrutiny as players complained of breathlessness. However, how can the organisers work out on the best solution to this problem? Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton answers.

He suggested the organizers establish a proper air quality policy along with its existing extreme heat policy to determine whether conditions are fit for play.

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“They do have a heat policy. I think they need to plan out an air quality policy in the same way,” Brett told local media.

“We’re all trying to work out the best approach and there’s no ‘one size fits all’. You can’t have a blanket solution. You need to look at the individual circumstances and what the alternatives are for protecting people,” he concluded.

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Varun Khanna

1334 articles

Starting off as a tennis author in 2018, Varun Khanna has gone on to contribute to EssentiallySports in various capacities. After setting up interviews with the likes of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Alizé Cornet, and Noah Rubin, Varun is now part of all major ATP and WTA press conferences and has gone on to pen more than 1300 articles for EssentiallySports. He now heads the tennis and NBA division of the organization.

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