- 19 Jan 2021
Victoria Azarenka called for greater understanding from players stuck in hotel quarantine ahead of the Australian Open.
After being exposed to coronavirus on flights, 72 players – including Azarenka – have been forced into a two-week quarantine ahead of the tournament beginning on February 8.
Novak Djokovic reportedly made several requests, which were rejected, of officials for players in quarantine, while Roberto Bautista Agut compared the conditions to prison.
But amid complaints on social media, two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka pleaded for players to be more understanding in a measured statement.
“Dear players, coaches, entourage and Australian community. I would like to take a moment and address some of my colleagues as well as the media around the world,” the Belarusian wrote on Twitter.
“This has been a very difficult time for a lot of us that did not expect to end up in the situation we are in today, myself included. To be in a 14-day hard quarantine is very tough to accept in terms of all the work that everyone has been putting in during their off-season – to be prepared for playing our first grand slam of the year. I understand all the frustration and feeling of unfairness that has been coming and it is overwhelming.
“We have a global pandemic, nobody has a clear playbook of how to operate at full capacity and without a glitch, we all have seen it last year. Sometimes things happen and we need to accept, adapt and keep moving.
— victoria azarenka (@vika7) January 19, 2021
“I would like to ask all my colleagues for cooperation, understanding and empathy for the local community that has been going through a lot of very demanding restrictions that they did not choose, but were forced to follow.
“I would like to ask to be sensitive as well to the people who have lost their jobs and loved ones during this horrible time for all of us around the world. I would like to ask all of us to have respect for people who work tirelessly to try to make our lives easier.
“I would like to ask the media to please have consciousness on the impact and influence you bring to this situation and to the community. I would like for the people in the community to know and understand that we have it as our top priority to ensure the health [and] safety of all the people.
“Lastly, I would like for us to please try to support each other as much as someone can or is willing to. Things are always easier when you have a compassionate environment and work together.”
Victoria endured tough restrictions after a second coronavirus wave last year.
On Tuesday, the state recorded its 13th consecutive day of no locally acquired cases of COVID-19.