MELBOURNE – Action at the Australian Open will be confined to the three stadiums with retractable roofs and eight indoor courts if conditions become hazardous due to the bushfire crisis, organisers of the Grand Slam event said on Tuesday.
Huge bushfires in New South Wales and Victoria have burnt through more than 25.5 million acres of land, killed 25 people and left thousands homeless.
Smoke from the fires has also resulted in hazardous conditions in Sydney, where the final rounds of the inaugural ATP Cup will take place this weekend, and Melbourne, where the Australian Open begins on Jan. 20.
Seven-times Australian Open champion and world number two Novak Djokovic, who is playing in the ATP Cup, last weekend said he hoped the crisis would “dissipate” soon but that an action plan would be needed to avoid any impact on the health of players if it did not.
“We have three roofed-stadiums and eight indoor courts at Melbourne Park,” Australian Open organisers said on the tournament's official Twitter handle in response to queries on social media.