A budding qualifier has come out and slammed the organisers of the Australian Open claiming Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic wouldn’t have played in the thick smoke that wreaked havoc at qualifiers on Tuesday.
Slovenia's Dalila Jakupovic feared she would pass out with the smoky conditions the worst she's experienced.
Following the horrible conditions, American player Noah Rubin has come and said it would be unlikely tennis royalty Federer and Djokovic would play under such conditions.
Again, just wished we knew the numbers they were looking at. All numbers surrounding park are around 200 and over still. The “word on the street” is that anything under 200 is more than fine. pic.twitter.com/tLdTnb8ZFL— Noah Rubin (@Noahrubin33) January 14, 2020
"If this was Federer or Djokovic playing in the finals, would we have done things differently?” Rubin said on Wednesday.
“That's always the question, and you'd have to think they would not be playing in these conditions.
"To force qualifiers to play, it's a tough place to be in."
Rubin said the incentive for players to take part in the qualifying was high because of the amount of money on offer, which is a lot for a player outside the top 50.
The US star said he doesn’t have the luxury of pulling out of the qualifiers, but said the fact ball kids were out on the court was ridiculous.
One thing to have us play but get the ball kids home https://t.co/WYEeFYUZTf— Noah Rubin (@Noahrubin33) January 14, 2020
Player forced to retire
Conditions at Melbourne Park weren’t forecast to improve until late on Wednesday, after it plagued the opening day's play when organisers were heavily criticised for allowing matches to proceed.
Jakupovic said feared she would pass out with the smoky conditions the worst she's experienced.
The world no.180 was forced to retire mid-match at Melbourne Park on Tuesday due to the hazardous smoke lingering from bushfires in Victoria's east.
Jakupovic was leading her round one Open qualifying match against Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele when she collapsed to her knees with a coughing fit.
"I was really scared that I would collapse. That's why I went onto the floor because I couldn't walk anymore," Jakupovic said.
"I don't have asthma and never had breathing problems. I actually like heat.
"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."