Dalila Jakupovic one of the Slovenian tennis players said that she was certainly scared as she retired from the Australian Open qualifying match because of the unhealthy air quality that was caused by the bushfires in Australia.
The Slovenian world number 180 had to be assisted off the court after she retired at 6-5 5-6 against Switzerland player Stefanie Vogele in the first round in Melbourne, Australia. Dalila also said that it was very bad and she had never experienced this before. She was really scared that she would collapse because she was unable to walk further. Because of the unhealthy air quality, practices were temporarily adjourned and qualifying match was late by an hour.
When Dalila was asked about her decision to continue with the match, she said that it was unfair as it was not healthy for the players to breath in contaminated air. Since July 2019, as a minimum of 28 people have died and an estimate of 10 million hectares of land has burned due to bush fires. Players rarely have any reason to complain when they come to Melbourne Park each year, but this seems a clear voluntary error by the Australian Open. BBC tennis rated the air quality as “very poor” – which is a sign that everyone could be experiencing symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath due to the contaminated air caused by bush fires.