A Canadian tennis player called Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer 'a little bit selfish' for not speaking out about the poor air quality at the Australian Open
- Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are a "little bit selfish" for not speaking out about the poor air quality at the Australian Open, according to Canadian tennis player Brayden Schnur.
- Smoke from the ongoing bushfires surrounding Melbourne has caused problems for a number of players during qualifying matches.
- Dalila Jakupovic was forced to retire from her match after suffering a coughing fit on Tuesday, while Eugenie Bouchard and Liam Broady have also reported having breathing problems.
- "Roger and Rafa are a little bit selfish in thinking about themselves and their careers," Schnur said, according to the Associated Press. "They're near the end and all they're thinking about is their legacy."
- He added: "Those guys need to step up."
- Nadal and Federer pledged $172,000 towards bushfire relief at a charity event on Wednesday, which raised a total of $3.5 million, according to Tennis.com.
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Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are a "little bit selfish" for not speaking out about the poor conditions at the Australian Open, according to Canadian tennis player Brayden Schnur.
A number of players have suffered problems during qualifying matches at The Open as a direct result of the air quality in Melbourne, which is a result of the ongoing bushfires surrounding the city.
Slovenian Dalila Jakupovic was forced to retire from her match against Stefanie Voegele on Tuesday after she keeled over in a coughing fit, whilst Eugenie Bouchard and Liam Broady have both also reported having breathing problems.
The Open's director, Craig Tiley, has insisted "the health and well-being" of the players "is of utmost importance," however Schnur has called on Nadal and Federer to challenge that notion.
"It's got to come from the top guys - Roger and Rafa are a little bit selfish in thinking about themselves and their careers," Schnur said, according to the Associated Press.
"They're near the end and all they're thinking about is their legacy and they're not thinking about the sport itself and trying to do what's good for the sport - so those guys need to step up."
Schnur, currently ranked 103rd, added that he had also been affected by the conditions during his first and second round victories over Kimmer Coppejans and Sebastian Ofner, the first of which took more than two hours.
"You feel super dryness in your throat. That's 100% not normal and players who have asthma are at a huge disadvantage right now," he said.
His comments came after Nadal announced at a charity event at the Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday that he and Federer were donating $172,000 towards the bushfire relief efforts, according to Forbes.
The event raised a total of $3.5 million in total, Tennis.com reports, all of which will go towards helping repair the devastation caused by the fires across the country.
At least 28 people and half a billion animals have died across Australia since July 1, while an estimated 14 million acres of land has also been scorched.
Qualifying rounds for the tournament conclude on January 17, before the first round begins on January 20.
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