Tennis - With the conditions at Melbourne Park coming under heavy scrutiny after the first day of the qualifying tournament got underway at the Australian Open, American tennis player Noah Rubin says that the superstars of the game like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic would not have played in the conditions that the qualifiers are currently playing in.
One WTA player was forced to retire from her match on Tuesday while several others required medical attention after complaining of breathing problems. Speaking to Sportingnews, Rubin says, "If this was Federer or Djokovic playing in the finals, would we have done things differently? That's always the question, and you'd have to think they would not be playing in these conditions."
Rubin, who is ranked No. 249 in the world, goes on to add that while it may appear easy to people that the qualifiers should pull out on their own if they find the conditions difficult, he says the decision is not so black-and-white.
"We don't have too many chances to make this kind of money and move up in the rankings. Hypothetically speaking, if we lose in the first round, this is easily the most money we'll make at any tournament, so to say that you're gonna pull out or not play is a very tough ask.
If you qualify, you're making really good money, you have momentum, good points and a lot of opportunity. That could easily allow for a great year of tennis. People say 'just pull out' but this is my livelihood, this is my life and my profession.
We can complain about it, but we're not going to pull out - I don't have the luxury of pulling out of a tournament like this. I'm a professional, but the fact that there's ballboys and other people out there is kind of ridiculous.
I'm going to play the match tomorrow unless doctors say 'do not play,' but it's sad that the Australian Open is forcing players to make this decision." The American, a former junior Wimbledon champion, also highlighted the lack of communication between tournament organisers and players.
"(There was) very little communication - if any. In the beginning apparently they sent out an email which I didn't receive. I felt we should be receiving an email every hour with an update of the air quality, and we didn't have that, so I'm not 100 per cent sure what the communication issues are and what's happening.
I'm a little bit disappointed and I'd have liked to see a little bit more effort to at least inform the players - regardless of the outcome. Just keep us updated constantly. I want to receive a text every 30 minutes about the air quality.
They may think of it as not that serious, but I'm out there playing tennis for three hours. They're not." Rubin takes on Japan's Hiroki Moriya in the first round match of qualifying on Wednesday.
Again, just wished we knew the numbers they were looking at.
All numbers surrounding park are around 200 and over still. The “word on the street” is that anything under 200 is more than fine. pic.twitter.com/tLdTnb8ZFL — Noah Rubin (@Noahrubin33) January 14, 2020
Just for people who think it isn’t that bad at Melbourne Park.