Australian Open officials tight-lipped as smoke questions linger

Australian Open officials tight-lipped as smoke questions linger

"When I was back home in Canberra, I couldn't even go outside [due to air contamination] ... and I'm just so happy that we had Roger, Rafa, Novak - some of the greats - to get behind this".

The decision to suspend action came after players criticised management about the hazardous conditions on Tuesday.

"In the unlikely case of extreme smoke conditions, the roofs will be closed on the three stadium courts and play will continue in their air-conditioned and air-filtered environment".

Any smoke hazards are treated similarly to extreme heat and rain, and referees could interrupt the game if it is considered too risky to continue, they added.

The hazardous air quality also coincided with the start of the Australian Open qualifiers, with the first round of matches delayed.

TA said it has installed measuring devices on-site for air quality, with play cleared to continue during the opening round of qualifying. "But the points were a bit longer and I just couldn't breathe anymore and I just fell on the floor". The physio returned and also I assumed it would certainly be much better.

Regardless of the primary health officer stating the air was quite hazardous or poor, the qualifying round of this championship kicked off on Tuesday... and many players have complained about the terms now.

Toxic smoke from the blazes also blew overnight into the Victorian capital of Melbourne, which is due to stage the Australian Open tennis tournament beginning next week.

Several tennis stars have complained about the air quality, leading into the main matches at the Australian Open.

"I never experienced something like this and I was really scared", she said.

"We will stop if conditions become unsafe based on medical advice", he said.

"I'm getting exhausted so easy", said Tomic on court, getting an inhaler from the trainer.

A qualifier dropped out with breathing difficulties and the Canadian Eugenie Bouchard needed medical attention, although all other games were over.

And over at Kooyong, 7km southeast of Melbourne, former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova was explaining to the local commentary team that her match with Germany's Laura Siegemund was abruptly halted as both players were struggling with the effects of smoke.

Practice was suspended until 11am as bushfire smoke - which caused havoc on Tuesday by forcing one player to withdraw from her qualifying match - continued to blow across Melbourne.