As the bushfire rage devastates the nation of Australia, it has destroyed around 1,500 homes in the nation. Consequently, the air quality in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra has deteriorated enormously. Novak Djokovic voiced out his concerns regarding the impact of wildfires on professional tennis.
The seven-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic mentioned delaying the commencement of Aussie major will be an ideal move because of the extreme conditions. Those conditions could be detrimental to players’ health.
“I think they’re going to try to do anything to not delay anything in terms of days and when it starts,” Novak Djokovic said. “But if it comes down to … those conditions affecting the health of players, I think we should definitely consider it.”
Djokovic’s team is also in touch with the CEO of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley. They are keeping track of the conditions in Sydney and Melbourne. ATP Cup’s play-offs and final will be hosted in Sydney. Also, the first Slam of the year is set to get underway in a few days time in Melbourne.
“I think they will if it continues the same way and if the quality of air is affected in Melbourne or Sydney, I think Tennis Australia probably will be forced to create some rules about it,” the World Number two said.
It is an arduous job to reschedule a tennis tournament particularly when it is a Grand Slam. A huge number of workforce is employed in making the tournament successful. Even if the tournament gets postponed it will be a mammoth task to replan the tennis calendar. However, the rescheduling of the major tournament will be a worst-case scenario.
“It’s tough for them because scheduling has to be respected in terms of play and the Australian Open starts at a certain time, so there’s a lot of different things involved. But health concern is a health concern for me and for anybody.”
The Australian Open tournament was founded in 1905. It is the largest annual sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere. The championships were initially held in the month of January. During the years 1916-18 and 1941-45 the tournament was canceled due to World War I and World War II respectively. In 1923 the tournament was held in August after Wimbledon.
In the year 1977, two Australian Open tournaments took place. The first one was held in January. And then due to a scheduling change, the next one took place in December. Until 1985 the tournament was held in December. With the year 1986 missing the Aussie major, from 1987 onwards the tournament started to take place once again in the month of January.