Tennis Player Retires From Australian Open After Bushfire Smoke-Induced Coughing Fit

Tennis Player Pulls Out Of Aussie Open After Coughing Fit Induced By Bushfire Smoke

Slovenian Dalia Jakupovic was one set up in her qualifying round against opponent Stefanie Vogele of Switzerland when she began to cough heavily and fell to her knees, citing poor air quality. The umpire and officials were called to the court and the match was abandoned, with Vogele announced as the winner. RELATED: Is It Safe […]

by | Aug 27, 2020

Slovenian Dalia Jakupovic was one set up in her qualifying round against opponent Stefanie Vogele of Switzerland when she began to cough heavily and fell to her knees, citing poor air quality.

The umpire and officials were called to the court and the match was abandoned, with Vogele announced as the winner.

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“I was really scared that I would collapse,” Jakupovic said in a post-match press conference. “That’s why I went onto the floor because I couldn’t walk anymore.”

“The physio came again and I thought it would be better. But the points were a bit longer and I just couldn’t breathe anymore and I just fell on the floor.”

Jakupovic had never experienced asthma or breathing problems in the past.

“I actually like heat,” she said, adding that it “wasn’t fair” on the players that the competition wasn’t suspended until a later date.

“It’s not healthy for us. I was surprised, I thought we would not be playing today but we don’t have much choice,” she said.

This comes as the city’s air-quality plummeted to a hazardous level on Tuesday, with the second-worst air quality in the world at one point overnight. Still, Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley insists that the health of all players, fans and staff is top of mind.

Going forward, they will be liaising with a medical team, as well as the Bureau of Meteorology and Environment Protection Authority Victoria scientists when assessing whether it’s safe to play.

“This is a new experience for all of us in how we manage air quality, so we have to listen to the experts,” he said. “We have now real-time raw data that we can collect – we have installed measuring devices on-site for air quality.”

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