By Fatih Erel
ISTANBUL (AA) - Proving that sports is no refuge from the environment, poor air quality due to bushfires is already casting a dark shadow over the Australian Open 2020 tennis tournament set to start on Monday.
The 108th Australian Open will take place in Melbourne between Jan. 20 and Feb. 2.
It is one of the four major tennis tournaments, including Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open.
Swiss Roger Federer is the master 20-time Grand Slam champion, followed by Spain's Rafael Nadal with 19 Grand Slam titles.
Serbian Novak Djokovic tops the Australian Open with seven victories, followed by Federer with six Australian Open titles.
In women's, American Serena Williams is looking to win her eighth Australian Open title.
Last year, Japan's Naomi Osaka beat Czech Petra Kvitova in the final to claim the title.
On the eve of the first Grand Slam of the year, some players have already complained about having to play their qualifying matches in poor air quality conditions.
Due to black air from bushfires, Slovenian tennis player Dalila Jakupovic collapsed during her qualifying match last Tuesday.
Australia is witnessing deadly bushfires estimated to have killed 1.25 billion animals and burned over 20 million acres of land.
At least 25 people have lost their lives while battling the heavy blazes that erupted last August, causing millions of dollars in damage.