Australia fires delay Australian Open qualifying

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Wednesday’s qualifying for the Australian Open was delayed because of the “very poor” air quality from the ongoing bushfire crisis.

Slovenian, Dalila Jakupovic retired from her Australian Open qualifying match because of the air quality. She had to be helped off court after suffering a coughing fit in her first-round match in Melbourne. Jakupovic said she did not have asthma and had not had breathing problems before.

It was very dangerous to play in those conditions yesterday. I think all of the players yesterday suffered more than the ones playing today because not all matches are going to be finished today. esterday, whoever we talk to, all the players had headaches, were feeling chest pains, had problems breathing. It was horrible.”

Dalila Jakupovic

Several other players recorded instances of being affected by the air quality:

  • Canadian Eugenie Bouchard had to leave court to receive treatment after complaining of a sore chest during Tuesday’s first round.
  • Australia’s Bernard Tomic also had treatment on court.
  • Russia’s Maria Sharapova had an exhibition match in Kooyong in the east of the city which was called off.
  • French player Nicolas Mahut went to Instagram for a form of protest, posting a picture of himself wearing a smoke-blocking face mask with the caption “ready for my first round!”
View this post on Instagram

Ready for my 1st round @australianopen #letsplay

A post shared by Nicolas Mahut (@nicomahut) on

The bushfires have claimed 28 lives while raising awareness about the type of disasters that the world will face due to global warming. Australian Open organisers pushed ahead with qualifying rounds on Tuesday. But dramatic scenes of players dropping to their knees and choking and retiring due to the smoke, led to complaints about them being forced to stay out on court.

Thunderstorms and heavy rain, are due to sweep across southeast Australia from Wednesday afternoon and it is expected to help clear the air in Melbourne.

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Sunday 5th April - US Racing Acca

Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.

17:52

Tampa Bay Downs

Lem Me Tel Ya To Win

He has won four times from 6f to 7f. A winner at 14-1 at Tampa Bay Downs over 6f on his latest outing last month, beating Resident. Expect another bold showing.

18:48

Tampa Bay Downs

Kalu To Win

Successful twice at 6f. Won on his latest outing when 11-10fav at Tampa Bay Downs over 6f last month, beating Minnesota Lucky. Another bold bid from the front beckons as he drops in class.

19:19

Tampa Bay Downs

Majestic Melody To Win

Won on his latest outing when 2-5fav at Tampa Bay Downs over 7f in February last year, beating Alfred The Great. The absence has to be a worry, but his stable is in form.

19:50

Tampa Bay Downs

Classy Of Course To Win

Successful twice at 1m on good ground. A winner at 5-1 at Tampa Bay Downs over 1m (good) on her latest outing last month, beating Don’t Fight by 3 1/2l. Expected to give another good account from on or near the pace.

20:20

Tampa Bay Downs

Speeding Starlet To Win

Winner of five races at 1m. Third of 7 behind Scarlet Bow beaten at 2-1 on her latest outing at Tampa Bay Downs over 1m in February. Having her first run for a new stable today, previously with Gerald Bennett. Goes well at this venue and a bold bid seems assured.

20:51

Tampa Bay Downs

Jais’s Solitude To Win

He has won three times from 7f to 1m 4f on good ground. Beaten 6l behind March To The Arch at 8-1 when last of 9 on his latest outing at Gulfstream over 1m (good) in January. Drops significantly in grade and it will be disappointing if he fails to make his presence felt.

Returns and odds correct at time of publishing.