World former No. 1 and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka called for respect from fellow tennis players as tensions rise amid the criticism of the Aussie Open’s quarantine scheme.
In a released statement addressed for her fellow Tennis Open players, the star player from Belarus wrote: “I would like to ask all my colleagues for their cooperation, understanding and empathy for the local community that has been going through a lot of damaging restrictions.”
This follows as the Australian Open was rocked due to a slew of coronavirus cases, having to force more than 70 players into hard lockdown. Criticism against the public health measures became prevalent, with many questioning whether the annual tournament will be “fair”.
In an interview with media, Azarenka pointed out that she does understand all the players’ frustrations; however, she asserted that players need to put things into perspective as we are now pre-existing with the deadly virus and asked the players to be mindful.
She added “We’re all in this, you know, difficult time together. It’s easier to go through it when we do support each other and have empathy for other people. For Tennis Australia to put something together for us, you know, where we don’t know if we are going to have any job, some tournaments get cancelled, obviously, we’re optimistic.”
The tennis player also went on to narrate the time she struggled with quarantine in the early days but emphasized that she understood it’s for the greater good.
“I cried a bit too because you do get to feel some emotions, but I told myself that I’m going to feel all my emotions for 24 hours, then pick myself up and try to move forward,” she said. Azarenka’s call comes as Spanish player Paula Badosa tests positive for coronavirus, and was among the players who previously complained about the hard lockdown in a now-deleted tweet.
“There is a majority of players who understand and who are cooperating. It is pretty amazing to see how far Australia has come and how hard you guys worked for it,” she said and praised Australian Open managers and the government for handling the situation well.
(Image source: ABC News)