The former world number one Maria Sharapova left in a match at the Kooyong exhibition tournament, on the outskirts of Melbourne (Australia), due to the smoke from the fires that devastated the east of the country, considering that it is a “wise decision ».
The 32-year-old Russian star demanded a break from the referee when she was tied in the second set with German Laura Siegemund (6-7, 5-5), explaining that “the players feel the smoke”
Sharapova, who was playing with a duct tape, used to facilitate breathing, spoke of “extreme” playing conditions, explaining that she was affected by a cough at the end of that second set.
«The referee has asked us to play one more game. We had already been playing for two hours. From my point of view (leaving) was a wise decision, ”added the five-time Grand Slam winner, who fell to 145th after physical problems.
The Russian has an invitation from the organizers to participate in the Australian Open (January 20 – February 2).
The Russian rival in Kooyong, Siegemund, explained having felt the smoke penetrate “into my body.”
“It is the first time that I play in these conditions and I must confess that I was affected in the second set,” said the 72nd world player, 31 years old. Afp