A player has been forced to retire from her match at the Australian Open after smoke from raging bushfires across the continent caused her to have a coughing fit. Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic had to stop Tuesday’s match against Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegel in Melbourne. The smoke haze forced the suspension of practice sessions earlier Tuesday, and qualifying rounds only started following a delay. Jakupovic said it was “not fair” that officials asked players to take to the court in the smoky conditions. “I was really scared that I would collapse,” she said. “I don’t have asthma and never had breathing problems. I actually like heat. The physio came again and I thought it would be better. But the points were a bit longer and I just couldn’t breathe anymore and I just fell on the floor.” She added: “I thought we would not be playing today but we don’t have much choice.” Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, a finalist at Wimbledon in 2014, also left the court during qualifying, saying she had a sore chest.
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