Former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka is hopeful a protocol for players in ‘hard’ lockdown in Melbourne can be agreed to allow “a training bubble within a bubble”.

Azaranka, 31, is one of 70 players currently in confinement after they were deemed as close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases on flights into Australia last week.

At the halfway point of her 14-day hard lockdown, Azarenka said she was hopeful Victorian health officials would allow an adjustment to the rules.

Players not in hard lockdown have a daily five-hour window for on-court practice and treatment.

Victoria Azarenka wraps up in the cold of Paris last October. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd/Alamy Live News

Azarenka said most players were hoping for a solution but were aware of the rules and precautions needed.

“From my understanding this was a situation that logistically Tennis Australia and Australian Open have been preparing for. (So) if that has some sort of approval or reassurance for health administrators that would be great,” she said.

Since arriving in Australia Azarenka said she had been tested daily and was informed no others on the flight had tested positive, raising hopes of a “bubble in a bubble” arrangement.

“I was a bit down the first day pf quarantine. I let myself feel all the emotions that I’ve felt. And I’ve kind of moved on from there,” she said.

“Right now I’m just trying to do the best I can every single day and feel also a bit also optimistic if there is going to be any opportunity for us to have obviously any adjustments, but if not, then it is what it is.

“The bottom line is that we’re in a pandemic and we have this situation and there are people who are taking decisions with a lot more information than we do.

“Obviously looking at Australia, at the success rate of dealing with COVID, and having it under control, I don’t think people from other countries have a lot of words to say to that.

“So I think that we should also be a bit respectful of that.”


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