Former champion Angelique Kerber admits she has all but given up hope of a fast Australian Open start once she is released from a draining 14-day quarantine in Melbourne,

The 2016 winner who turned 33 this week while shut up in her lockdown hotel room, tried to make last Monday special, donning a dress and popping a bottle of champagne for a social media post.

But her cheerful disposition hides the grim reality of a fortnight without proper practice for the delayed first Grand Slam of another dubious COVID-marred season.

“I have trained as hard in the last two months as I haven’t for a long time,” she told Germany’s SID. “It was one of the best preparations in recent years; I pushed my limits with a lot of heart and soul.”

The three-time Grand Slam winner who played her last match in late September at Roland Garros, remains unsure of what form she can muster when her release to train finally comes in 10 days.

Kerber was aboard a special tennis charter flight from the Gulf lat week where a positive test on board meant that all passengers were marched into tight lockdown upon arrival in Melbourne.

The player said she “has to be realistic and admit that after two weeks of quarantine in my hotel room I can’t expect much from the start of the season.

“I accept the situation as it is and try to make the best of it – now is not the time to formulate big goals. “

Kerber added that controlling the COVID-19 pandemic remains a more important objective than the tennis at the moment.

“Much more important things are happening in the world.¬†Millions of people struggle with the consequences of the pandemic every day, and sport clearly takes second place.

“The important thing is that we get through the pandemic, hopefully get it under control as quickly as possible.

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