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7 Jan, 2020 17:29

Australian Open 2020 matches could be played indoors in case of extreme smoke conditions – organizers

Australian Open 2020 matches could be played indoors in case of extreme smoke conditions – organizers

The raging wildfires that have swept Australia might cause revolutionary changes to the season-opening Grand Slam with the possibility of matches being played indoors in the case of severe smoke conditions.

The tournament's organizers have come up with the idea amid fears that the prestigious tennis event might be delayed or even canceled due to heavily polluted air caused by extreme bushfires.

READ MORE: ‘Fiery conditions’: Nike changes Australian Open outfit ad after bushfire backlash
We have three roofed-stadiums and eight indoor courts at Melbourne Park,” Australian Open organizers wrote on their Twitter handle in response to a question by a user.

 “In the unlikely case of extreme smoke conditions, the roofs will be closed on the three stadium courts and play will continue in their air-conditioned and air-filtered environment.”

The tournament’s CEO Craig Tiley underlined that the health of “players, fans and staff” remains the number one priority for the organizers who will try to implement all necessary safety measures.

Earlier, Serbian tennis icon and defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic expressed concern over the air quality in Australia stressing that the players’ health should not be put at risk.

Also on rt.com ‘Conditions are a health concern for players’: Novak Djokovic worried about bushfires ahead of Australian Open

Terrifying large-scale bushfires have swept Australia, burning around five million hectares of land and causing incalculable damage to the continent’s wildlife.

The season curtain-raiser Australian Open is scheduled to take place in Melbourne from January 20 to February 2.