"Yesterday [Tuesday] was not an easy day to play. My match took place between 12.30 p.m. and 3 p.m. and I felt warmer. The air was harder to breathe, almost as if it did not all go in when I took a deep breath," Frederico Silva told Lusa.
The 24-year-old player eliminated South Korean Ji Sung Nam, number 241 in the ATP ranking, by 2-6, 6-4, but said to have experienced an unusual situation, following the smoke of the forest fires that have already killed 27 people, although it was not necessary to interrupt the match.
After having felt some difficulty in recovering between the points, since the body is not used to such high temperatures, Silva said he believes that the first round was not postponed following a considered decision of the organisation, but admits not to understand the option.
"If the quality of the air was dangerous for the population in Melbourne, it would also be for those who were going to practice high competition sport in the open air. I was able to handle the situation well and win, which was the most important thing for me yesterday [Tuesday]," he said.
Like Frederico Silva, 198th in the world hierarchy, Pedro Sousa marked his debut in Melbourne on a day when, he said, there was a lot of smoke in the sports complex and the air was very heavy.
Pedro Sousa, however, still condemns the decision to keep the inaugural qualifying day for the main board of the Australian Open and even showed some concern.
"The news and the Melbourne City Council advised people not to go out on the streets, walk animals and close the windows. And, with so much flexibility that the qualifying has, they 'forced' us to play yesterday [Tuesday], when there did not seem to be any conditions. We do not know to what extent this is harmful to health, not only in the immediate future," he said.
On Wednesday, according to Frederico Silva, conditions improved, who will face the Serbian Pedja Krstin (240th ATP) in the second round of the qualifying.