Australian Open chief reassures players over smoke fears, saying: ‘we won’t risk your health’

Australian Open ball

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has assured players they will not be asked to risk their health amid concerns over air quality in Melbourne.

Unfavourable wins have seen the city engulfed in smoke from the Australian bushfires that are ravaging the country.

Fears about the well-being of players have escalated with multiple players, including Bernard Tomic, Eugenie Bouchard, and Dalila Jakupovic reporting to suffering from debilitating breathing difficulties in qualifying.

Tiley, though, has asked players to trust him and the advice he is receiving from medical consultants at the Australian Open.

“We reiterated with the players that we’re making a decision based on advice, based on expert advice,” he told a news conference.

“We’re not going to put them in harm’s way or make any decision that’s going to negatively impact their health and well-being.

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“We have a track record of that when it comes to extreme heat. I think we’re one of the few major events that has to manage extreme heat like we do.

“But this is a new experience for all of us, how we manage air quality and therefore we’ve got to rely on those experts that advise us on how best to continue.”

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