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Dalila Jakupovic Retires from Australian Open Due to Coughing Fit from Wildfires

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIJanuary 14, 2020

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 12: Dalila Jakupovic of Slovakia during day three of the Nature Valley Open at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 12, 2019 in Nottingham, United Kingdom.  (Photo by James Wilson/MB Media/Getty Images)
James Wilson/MB Media/Getty Images

The devastating Australian wildfires affected the 2020 Australian Open qualifiers when Dalila Jakupovic retired from her match against Stefanie Voegele because of a coughing fit, according to Leo Schlink and Lauren Wood of the Herald Sun.

"The right-hander complained of breathing difficulties in the first set," Schlink and Wood added. "Jakupovic was treated by medical staff on several occasions before deciding to retire."

ESPN Australia & NZ @ESPNAusNZ

Awful scenes in Melbourne. Dalila Jakupovic has abandoned her #AusOpen qualifying match after suffering a coughing fit while playing in thick smoke caused by the #AustralianFires. https://t.co/WAJv6TzTjW

Jakupovic was leading the match 6-4, 5-6.

Stills from the scene emerged on Twitter:

Mike Dickson @Mike_Dickson_DM

Scoreboard telling of the Australian Open’s first retirement, Dalila Jakupovic. Behind scoreboard you get an idea of the air quality, which seems to have deteriorated in past hour. https://t.co/1htPVZrB6X

Simon Briggs @simonrbriggs

Davila Jakupovic retires after suffering a horrendous coughing fit and breathing difficulties in the heavy, polluted air in Melbourne. Awful scenes https://t.co/EPQUlf9DpF

The poor air quality had previously caused Australian Open practice to be temporarily suspended. The tournament provided an update on the fluid situation, noting that "the health and safety of our players, our staff and our fans is our priority":

#AusOpen @AustralianOpen

Further decisions will be made based on onsite data, and in close consultation with our medical team, the Bureau of Meteorology and scientists from EPA Victoria. As always the health and safety of our players, our staff and our fans is our priority.

The city of Melbourne cautioned citizens to stay indoors because of "hazardous" air quality in the aftermath of the bushfires.

The air quality is expected to "make at least one full circuit around the globe," NASA said (h/t BBC):

NASA Goddard @NASAGoddard

A fleet of NASA satellites πŸ›°οΈ working together has been analyzing the aerosols and smoke from the massive fires burning in Australia. https://t.co/93geNvCBnU https://t.co/ZedZ199lvJ

The Australian Open is scheduled to run from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2 as the bush fires continue to burn.