“This morning it was obviously pretty bad. I warmed up and then I was most surprised by how bad it still was when I was walking out to the court.

“I had been inside from 10 o’clock for three hours and, because they had decided to go ahead, I thought it would have cleared up a lot. You can hardly see the (city) buildings over there. It is pretty bad.”

Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley also explained why practice was suspended on the outside courts.

“This is new for all of us,” said Tiley. “We follow the advice of medical experts and environmental scientists and the health and wellbeing of the players, fans and staff is crucial to the decisions we make.

“This morning when we got up, the smoke haze was significant. Based on that advice we took a decision to suspend practice, and to start the qualifying matches an hour later than it was originally scheduled.”

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