Smoke haze over Melbourne was visible on Wednesday morning

Australian Open organisers have imposed a two-hour delay to the start of qualifying matches on Wednesday because of the “very poor” air quality from ongoing bushfires in the country.

It is the second successive day the start of play has been delayed because of the conditions in Melbourne.

On Tuesday, Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic had to be helped off court after retiring from her match.

Air quality in the city did improve overnight but is still “unhealthy”.

Play will now begin at 12:00 local time (01:00 GMT).

According to the Environment Protection Authority