The air quality in Melbourne is causing havoc at the Australian Open qualifiers .
Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic was forced to retire this afternoon after suffering a coughing fit, leading 6-4, 5-6 over Stefanie Voegele.
The 28-year-old required medical assistance throughout the match, dealing with breathing difficulties in the first set.
This comes after play was delayed by an hour before being deemed safe to play by officials.
Canadian Eugenie Bouchard also required a medical timeout, dealing with a sore chest and breathing difficulties.
Awful scenes in Melbourne.— ESPN Australia & NZ (@ESPNAusNZ) January 14, 2020
Dalila Jakupovic has abandoned her #AusOpen qualifying match after suffering a coughing fit while playing in thick smoke caused by the #AustralianFires. pic.twitter.com/WAJv6TzTjW
Davila Jakupovic retires after suffering a horrendous coughing fit and breathing difficulties in the heavy, polluted air in Melbourne. Awful scenes pic.twitter.com/EPQUlf9DpF— Simon Briggs (@simonrbriggs) January 14, 2020
Scoreboard telling of the Australian Open’s first retirement, Dalila Jakupovic. Behind scoreboard you get an idea of the air quality, which seems to have deteriorated in past hour. pic.twitter.com/1htPVZrB6X— Mike Dickson (@Mike_Dickson_DM) January 14, 2020
Air pollution is causing plenty of drama at Melbourne Park. 2014 semi-finalist Eugenie Bouchard is complaining of a sore chest and has just left the court with doctors. @9NewsMelb pic.twitter.com/kL6LxuXVIF— Braden Ingram (@bradeningram) January 14, 2020
I don’t understand why they rush to play today @AustralianOpen . You have the whole saturday and sunday to finish qualies and if it’s really bad we are used to play 2 matches a day aswell and in the worst case we can shorten the mens to best of 3. There are solutions!!— mandy minella (@mandyminella) January 14, 2020
Sharapova exhibition match at nearby Kooyong has now been suspended because of the smoke— Simon Briggs (@simonrbriggs) January 14, 2020