The ATP and Australian Open have defended their decision to allow play to carry on during the qualifying event despite the poor air quality.
An email was sent out on to male players on Thursday defending their stance. It concludes the “conditions are challenging, but the medical experts say they are acceptable for play”.
Great Britain’s Liam Broady described the email as “a slap in the face” and said it “boils his blood” that he was made to play his first-round qualifying match on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old was “gasping for air” as he lost to Belarusian Ilya Ivashka.
Play had earlier been suspended for an hour as Melbourne was blanketed in smoke from the bushfires.
It concludes the “conditions are challenging, but the medical experts say they are acceptable for play”.
“The more I think about the conditions we played in a few days ago, the more it boils my blood.”
Taking to social media, the GB Davis Cup player said “The more I think about the conditions we played in a few days ago, the more it boils my blood. We can’t let this slide.
The email we received yesterday from the ATP and AO was a slap in the face. Conditions were ‘playable’. Were they ‘healthy’?”
Citizens of Melbourne were warned to keep their animals indoors the day I played qualifying, and yet we were expected to go outside for high-intensity physical competition?
“What do we have to do to create a players’ union? Where is the protection for players, both male and female? On tour we let so many things go that aren’t right but at some point, we have to make a stand. ALL players need protection, not just a select few.”
What do you think of the conditions? Should the 2020 Aussie Open be canceled?