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Fact Check-Video of Dalila Jakupović collapsing at the Australian Open is from 2020

Footage of tennis player Dalila Jakupović collapsing at the Australian Open is not from 2022. The incident occurred two years earlier during the qualifying phase of the same tournament.

The Slovenian was forced to retire from the competition on Jan. 13, 2020, after suffering a coughing fit and breathing difficulties that had been triggered by the poor air quality in Melbourne following months of deadly bushfires (here).

However, clips from the day have resurfaced on social media claiming the incident occurred during 2022’s first major tennis championship. Some users have even suggested her collapse was linked to COVID-19 vaccines.

One Jan. 17 Facebook post containing the video (here) reads: “'Scared' Dalila Jakupovic leaves her qualifying match for the Australian Open after a 'cough and anguish' attack. Dalila Jakupovic led when she was forced to retire due to ‘cough’. The Slovenian admitted after she was ‘afraid of collapse’ in Melbourne… The Australian Open is transforming — as is football and other sports — into high-risk games for life. Something normal for a lot of people who are still asleep in deep sleep and don't see anything weird. For the TRUTH!! ALWAYS!! What is really happening since 2020? Other voices! For the triumph of TRUTH, ALWAYS!!”

Another (here) says: “2 more athletes couldn't breathe and abandoned the Australian Open! Slovak Dalila Jakupovic and Greek-Australian Nick Kyrgios! Jakupovic couldn't breathe and left the match crying. She herself stated: ‘I don't have asthma, I wasn't affected by the heat, in fact I like to play in hot weather..’.”

The footage has also been posted on Twitter (here and here), while other users have tweeted about the incident as if it happened in the past few days (here and here).

But Jakupović spoke about her coughing fit on The Today Show on Australia’s Nine Network back in 2020 (here).

She told their team: “I have no asthma or breathing problems. I never experienced something like this, like I had yesterday. It was really scary, I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t know what to do, I had a feeling like I’m going to collapse on the court. I was really scared. The whole match was tough for me, to breathe, to get some fresh air, to get some air at all. They were tough conditions.”

She added: “We are used to pollution, like we play in China, we play in more polluted countries, but smoke is something different. For sure, we are not used to it. Citizens and everyone were advised to stay inside. We didn’t expect that we’d be playing yesterday.”

The video was published in January 2020 by media outlets shortly after the incident (here, here, here and here).

VERDICT

Misleading. Video of Dalila Jakupović collapsing at the Australian Open is not from 2022. The incident occurred two years earlier after she suffered breathing difficulties caused by historic bushfires.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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