Bushfires could suspend Australian Open matches

Last Updated: 06/01/20 11:22pm

Australia has been ravaged by bushfires over the last few months
Australia has been ravaged by bushfires over the last few months

Australian Open organisers are monitoring the air quality in Melbourne amid the bushfire crisis with matches facing suspension if conditions become hazardous.

Hundreds of fires have killed at least 25 people and ravaged more than 19.8 million acres of land across Australia over the last few months.

With qualifying for the season’s first Grand Slam starting on January 14, tournament director Craig Tiley said officials can halt play if smoke poses a danger to the health of players.

“Assessing the likelihood of smoke-induced interruptions is a bit like how we treat heat and rain,” he said.

“We have access to real-time monitoring of air quality at all of our venues and are working closely with medical personnel and local experts on site to ensure we have the best possible information available to make any decisions regarding whether play should be halted at any point.

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Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios broke down in tears discussing the horrific Australian bushfires
Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios broke down in tears discussing the horrific Australian bushfires

“The health of players, fans and staff is a priority at all times and we will continue to make these decisions with that in mind.”

There have so far been no smoke-related delays at the ATP Cup, which is taking place in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

However, this week’s ATP Challenger/ITF Futures tournament scheduled to take place in Canberra was moved to Bendigo, while the capital city’s Brumbies rugby team moved their pre-season training camp to Newcastle.

Nick Kyrgios was brought to tears on Friday over the bushfires after his opening ATP Cup win over Jan-Lennard Struff in Brisbane.

Kyrgios is donating $200 Australian dollars for each ace he hits in tennis events held during the home summer season to help those affected, while fellow players have also pledged their support

Source : Sky Sports