Former Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka has revealed that she burst into tears when she was told that she had come into contact with coronavirus on the charter flight to Melbourne and would have to go into hard quarantine.
"I had a group call with my agents and my coach...and I literally hung up on them," she told Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Australian Open Countdown.
I just hung up because I was so devastated. At first I cried - like, I cried on the couch. And I felt like everybody - frustration, sadness and, 'Oh, my God, I worked so hard...where's it gonna go?', like a feeling of uncertainty.
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"And then I kind of thought, 'OK, you feel all those emotions. This is what's going to happen, you've just got to let yourself feel them and get them out."
The Belarusian also talked about how cautious she had been en route to Australia.
"I didn't even want to go to the bathroom!" she said. "I put like a blanket all over on top of me when I was sleeping in case like my mask moved or something!"
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Defending champion Sofia Kenin spoke to Todd Woodbridge later in the same episode; the American is not one of those in hard quarantine and has been allowed out of her hotel room to practise for a limited number of hours every day.
"I'm lucky and fortunate to be one of the players that's able to practise," she said. "Obviously not easy but I'm obviously pleased to be here."
The 22-year-old is aware that it will be tough to defend her title in Melbourne, with results likely to be unpredictable with such a topsy-turvy preparation.
"It's special [in Melbourne]," she said. "It will be a test for me, mentally, for sure, to see how I'll handle the nerves and I guess the pressure from the outside."
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