15 Jan 2020

Smoky air plagues Australia Open qualifying play

From Five O'clock Report, 5:36 pm on 15 January 2020

Smoky air conditions in Melbourne from the devastating bush fires have delayed the start of Australian Open qualifying play.

The city's air quality dropped to 'hazardous' yesterday and is now rated 'very poor' - less than a week out from the start of the grand slam tennis event.

Yesterday Slovenia's Dalila Jakupovic fell to her knees when she was about to serve during the Round 1 Open qualifying match, and had to retire, later explaining she'd found herself unable to breathe due to the poor air quality.

The Telegraph's tennis correspondent Simon Briggs is in Melbourne.