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Second day of Australian Open qualifying delayed as smoke haze continues to plague Melbourne

Second day of Australian Open qualifying delayed as smoke haze continues to plague Melbourne after fall-out from ongoing bush fires

  • Smoke haze in Melbourne is still seriously affecting the Australian Open 
  • A second day of qualifying was delayed in a row due to unplayable conditions 
  • Visibility has been severely reduced and a smell of smoke hangs in the air

The start of qualifying was delayed for the second day in a row as smoke haze continued to cause problems in Melbourne on Wednesday.

After heavy criticism of organisers for completing the schedule on Tuesday despite air quality readings showing as hazardous, Wednesday’s opening matches were moved back from 10am to midday.

The air quality was not as bad as on Tuesday but it was still rated as unhealthy, with visibility severely reduced and a smell of smoke in the air.

The start of qualifying for the Australian Open was delayed for the second day due to smoke

The start time was quickly pushed back by another hour, with a statement from organisers reading: ‘Practice has been suspended until 11am this morning due to air quality concerns, and play won’t start before 1pm.

‘Conditions at Melbourne Park are being constantly monitored and further decisions will be made using the onsite data and in close consultation with our medical team, the Bureau of Meteorology and scientists from EPA Victoria.

‘The onsite data and measurements early this morning were similar to yesterday, when practice and play were suspended and delayed. Conditions yesterday were forecast to improve throughout the day, which is what occurred.’

A man rides his bicycle wearing a face mask as smoke covered haze covers Melbourne

A man rides his bicycle wearing a face mask as smoke covered haze covers Melbourne

Rafa Nadal poses for selfies with fans ahead of the start of the first Grand Slam of the year

Rafa Nadal poses for selfies with fans ahead of the start of the first Grand Slam of the year

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk