Australian Open qualifying smoke conditions unlikely to improve, Racing Victoria cancels races

Melbourne

Melbourne

Australia is already guaranteed 18 players in the singles main draws, led by women's world number one Ashleigh Barty, with play getting underway on Monday.

"I just can't breathe", he said. After some time, the end of the second set, the physio came again, I thought I would be better. "I couldn't stand up".

"In the unlikely case of extreme smoke conditions, the roofs will be closed on the 3 stadium courts and play will continue in their air-conditioned, air-filtered environment", according to a tweet Australian Open's official Twitter account.

"When you reach the hazardous air quality range anyone can develop symptoms", Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Tuesday.

Serena Williams' coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, shared a photo of the skyline to illustrate the air quality.

"We have committed substantial extra resources to analysis, monitoring and logistics to ensure the health and safety of all players, staff and fans throughout the summer and have no other plans to move events (following the cancellation of an event in Australia's capital Canberra)", Mr Tiley said in a statement. Jakupovic, ranked No. 180 in the world, was forced to retire from the match which had gone for just shy of two hours. She has never advanced past the round of 128 at a Grand Slam. Australian men's player Bernard Tomic complained of getting exhausted easily and breathing difficulty.

Oil prices steady after recent decline, trade deal and United States inventories eyed
But they slumped again as Washington and Tehran retreated from the brink of direct conflict last week. Global benchmark Brent touched $US71.75 per barrel last week before ending on Friday below $US65.

Australian Open officials had previously halted practice sessions and qualifying matchups due to the air quality in Melbourne, which has been hovering between "hazardous" and "very unhealthy" levels ever since the blanket of smoke settled across the city last night.

Bushfire smoke disrupted the Australian Open build-up Wednesday for a second straight day, with qualifying rounds delayed following a barrage of complaints about safety from global tennis players.

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, a finalist at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, also left the court, complaining of a sore chest, during a match against China's You Xiaodi.

Players who have arrived in Melbourne for the tournament woke to a pea-soup haze blanketing the city on Tuesday.

"Why do we need to wait for something bad to happen to do an action", Svitolina wrote.

Slovenia's Dalila Jakupovic feared she would pass out during Australian Open qualifying, with the smoky conditions the worst she has experienced.

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