Tiley conceded that the players had not been given detailed information relating to when the air would be considered safe to play in, as tournament organisers did not want to make a complex issue even more confusing for participants. However he has subsequently written to players outlining the basis for the decisions.
“We made a decision early on not to go through numbers because it was an extremely complex issue. We knew where we were at,” Tiley said.
“We have brought the players along on a journey more now because they are able to understand a bit more about it and have written to them a couple of times, but even that it is confusing.”
Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard said on Thursday she felt nauseous the night after Tuesday’s match and slept for 11 hours as she recovered from her match.
“Our medical team were satisfied with the conditions that the players were competing in, per all of the research and the data and the science that they have,” Tiley told reporters on Thursday.
“But they also make an assessment.
“You could have been two hours into those matches and have 25 people presenting themselves with a medical condition that may be related to the pollutants.
“If that’s the case, inform me and we stop.”
Tiley said the reality was they had to trust the information being given to tournament organisers.
“This is about trusting the medical advice and trusting the expertise and scientific advice … the people who live this every day,” Tiley said.
He said he would meet with Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic on Friday to ensure she was being well cared for after the 28-year-old was forced to retire from her qualifying match on Tuesday when she struggled to breathe in the smoke-filled air. Tiley has already met with her following Tuesday’s incident.
Tiley said the issues around air quality were evolving and player representatives were being informed.
“Absolutely, we understand the anger [but] a lot of it comes from the confusion and the complexity of understanding what goes on,” he said.
“We’ve invited the players, as we’ve said to them, to come in at any time to have a conversation.
“If anyone at any time is feeling not well, we have a full medical team.
“We have a respiratory specialist on hand to deal with any of these issues.”
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.