“Devastated”: Victoria Azarenka Reveals Her Reaction After Learning of Australian Open 2021 Quarantine

Published 01/27/2021, 12:00 PM EST
Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka in action during her quarter final against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza |REUTERS


Former women’s World Number 1 Victoria Azarenka has opened up on how she recovered from the initial shock of learning about the hard quarantine ahead of the Australian Open and adapted to the new normal.

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The Belarussian tennis star, who is currently quarantining in Melbourne, revealed that she first got to know about the two-week quarantine rule during a conference call with her agent, coach, and other members of her entourage.

Victoria Azarenka “cried on the court” after learning of Australian Open quarantine

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Speaking to American tennis player Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Azarenka said she literally hung up on her team after being informed about the 14-day isolation rule. The two-time Grand Slam champion revealed that she was “devastated” and “cried on the couch”.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – September 27, 2020, Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka in action during her first-round match against Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

She said she felt “frustration” and “sadness” like all her peers did when they first received word of the quarantine rule, adding that she couldn’t help thinking to herself, “Oh my god, I worked so hard. Where is it gonna go?”

However, Azarenka said that though a feeling of “uncertainty” had gripped her initially, she later calmed her nerves and told herself that she needed to get over the emotions and focus on the job at hand.

“I thought, ‘Okay, you feel all those emotions. This is what’s gonna happen. You just gotta let yourself feel them and get them out,” said the Belarussian, who won the Australian Open back-to-back in 2012 and 2013.

Azarenka will bid for her third Australian Open this year

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Azarenka said that despite spending “10 to 11 days” in quarantine, she doesn’t feel too affected by it. Currently ranked 13th by the WTA, Azarenka would love to go a step further than she did in last year’s US Open to land her third Grand Slam title.

In sight of her maiden crown at the Flushing Meadows, the Belarussian fell at the final hurdle to Japanese Naomi OsakaHowever, that was before she dumped crowd favorite Serena Williams out of the tournament.

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The strict quarantine rule ahead of the year’s first Grand Slam requires all players to limit their movements to their hotel rooms and training/practice facilities for the first couple of weeks.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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