Romanian tennis star Simona Halep has conceded to the challenges of adapting to the tough quarantine rules laid down for the Australian Open.
The current World Number 3 said that the experience of being in a bio-secure bubble at Tour events last year will stand her in good stead and help her get through two tough weeks of hard quarantine ahead of the year’s first Grand Slam.
The rules would forbid players to go anywhere else apart from their hotel rooms and designated training/practice facilities.
In a chat with Eurosport, the two-time Grand Slam champion said, “I know that it will be hard mentally, but I feel like my experiences in bubbles in 2020 will help me know a little bit more what to expect.”
Praising the Australian government’s proactive response to the Covid crisis and how it has helped in bringing down cases in the country, Halep said, “I am also less stressed because I know that they have Covid so well under control in Australia and that once we are out of quarantine, we will be free!”
Opening up on her own battle with the virus, Halep said she tested positive last October.
“I didn’t get too sick with it thankfully but, of course, as a professional athlete, I was worried about my lungs. So we did lots of tests and everything was great,” the Romanian star said.
Dispute being laid low by the virus and being out of the game as a result, Halep will go into the Australian as one of the title contenders. Being the second-ranked player currently, the 2018 French Open champion will quarantine in Adelaide, instead of host city Melbourne.
Wary of not exceeding the accommodation limit set by the government of Victoria at hotels designated to house players, the tournament organizers have decided to shift the top three players in the men’s and women’s fields to the South Australian city.
They will also play exhibition events over two days in Adelaide.