Australian Open may take into account delayed begin as a consequence of bushfire smoke in Melbourne, says Novak Djokovic


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January 06, 2020 11:51:00


World quantity two Novak Djokovic has referred to as for Australian Open organisers to contemplate delaying the yr’s opening grand slam occasion if smoke haze from the bushfire emergency threatens gamers’ well being.

Key factors:

  • Novak Djokovic says his group has spoken to Tennis Australia and is monitoring air high quality in each Melbourne and Sydney
  • Djokovic has skilled poor air high quality in tournaments in China, however says the smoke in Australia is at one other stage
  • Ash Barty says “it really doesn’t matter” if the Open will get delayed as there are greater points happening in Australia

The Australian Open is because of begin on January 20, however smoke haze has filtered into Melbourne as fires proceed to rage in Victoria’s East Gippsland area.


And Djokovic, who has received the Australian Open singles title seven instances, mentioned the ATP Participant Council would meet forward of the match to debate choices, together with a doable delayed begin to the match.

“You have to consider it because of some extreme weather or conditions,” he mentioned in Brisbane after clinching a win within the ATP Cup.

“That’s probably the very, very last option. If it comes down to … the conditions affecting the health of players, you have to consider it.”


Djokovic mentioned his representatives had been in touch with Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley and had been monitoring air high quality in each Melbourne and Sydney, the place the ATP Cup finals will probably be held.

“People from my team have spoken to Craig Tiley, they are obviously tracking the situation every day as it is evolving,” he mentioned.

“If it continues the identical method and high quality of air is affected in Sydney, I feel Tennis Australia will probably be compelled to create some guidelines about it.

“It’s powerful for them as a result of the schedule must be revered, the Australian Open begins at a sure time so there are loads of issues concerned. However a well being concern is a well being concern for anyone.”

Many gamers on the ATP tour, together with Djokovic, aren’t any strangers to poor air high quality in sure tournaments, together with the current occasions in China, however the Serb admits the Australian bushfires could also be at one other stage.

“I know in China the playing conditions are very tough in terms of quality of air but this is something different — I have never had this kind of experience before,” he mentioned.

“We will see. I hope it is going to dissipate but if it stays like that, we have a council meeting in a week or 10 days and we will discuss [air quality policy] for sure if the conditions stay the same.”

Girls’s world primary Ashleigh Barty mentioned most gamers would agree the timing of the tennis was much less essential than security.

“First and foremost, the reason that there is smoke in the air is what’s most devastating at the moment for our country,” she mentioned.

“It is only a actually powerful time. Tennis is a sport, it is a sport that we play, and there are actually loads of greater issues happening in Australia proper now that we have to deal with.

“So, I imply, if it meant that we have been delayed by a day or two … it actually would not matter. What issues is that Australians keep secure and we type of type out the larger points.”

Tennis “is a sport that we love, sure, and we try to be the final word professionals and do the whole lot that we are able to, however it’s a sport. That you must put issues into perspective and fear in regards to the greater issues in life first.”

Barty donating prize cash to bushfire reduction

Barty was flying house throughout Australia following the Fed Cup remaining when she noticed the early indicators of devastation from the bushfires.

So the issue has not simply dawned on her, as it could have for some gamers arriving for the season-opening occasions. However the scale and gravity of the scenario is de facto hitting house.

Barty went to a close-by animal shelter after she returned from the Fed Cup loss to France in Perth final November and donated cash as a result of at that stage animals have been the primary casualties of the flames. Now she is becoming a member of the fundraising for an even bigger reduction effort.

She is donating any prize cash she wins on the Brisbane Worldwide, her house match, to the Australian Pink Cross for the restoration effort. The winner of the match, which begins Monday, will earn $US250,000 ($360,000).

“It’s been really terrible, it really has. For me, this started two or three months ago,” Barty mentioned of the injury attributable to the bushfires.

“We have now to recollect, this has been happening for a very long time throughout our entire nation. The primary I noticed of it was truly flying house … to the east coast and we may see a few of the smoke and a few of the fires.

“Clearly the worst of it’s nonetheless on the market for the time being. Now it is not simply the wildlife, it is also affected Australians with their lives and their properties.”

Australian Open organisers will maintain a particular charity occasion on January 15, 5 days earlier than the match begins.

Nick Kyrgios was among the many first tennis gamers to pledge, promising $200 for each ace he hits this month. He served 20 in Australia’s opening win on the ATP Cup.

Barty, who began her rise to world primary with a run to the quarterfinals on the final Australian Open after which received her first main title on the French Open, can even be a well-recognized face within the fundraising marketing campaign.








First posted

January 06, 2020 11:17:48

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