Australian Open: Player withdraws after she 'couldn't breathe' due to air quality



The qualifying rounds of the 2020 Australian Open began on Monday, despite the devastating wildfires that have caused massive destruction across the country and led to significant air quality issues in Melbourne, which pose a risk to players.

Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic won the first set of her qualifying match against 11-seed Stefanie Vogele, but had to withdraw from the tournament after she struggled to breathe and fell to her knees in the second set.

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Via NBC News:

“I was really scared that I would collapse. I never had breathing problems. I actually like heat. But … I just couldn’t breathe anymore and I just fell on the floor.”

The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Monday that the air quality in the city was categorized as “hazardous,” and advised people to stay inside. Several players struggled on outdoor courts on Monday.

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Serena Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, shared a photo of the skyline to illustrate the air quality.

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The tournament is continuing as planned, for now. The official Australian Open Twitter account explained that if need be, matches will be moved into one of the closed stadiums, where smoke can be filtered out.

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Players are speaking out about the issue on social media.

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Via OverwatchWire


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