Lockdown is toying with the mental strength of WTA No. 70 Marta Kostyuk, with the teenager uncertain if she will be able to make it to the Australian Open starting line.
Kostyuk is quarantined in a Melbourne hotel, with the 18-year-old worried for her physical and mental abilities once she is released after a 14-day COVID precautionary stint.
Her reaction may not be unique among those under the cosh of the structure dictated by Australian government health bureaucrats, with the Open itself coming under increasing public pressure from fearful and irate citizens in the nearly COVID-free island-continent.
Kostyuk has confessed to occasional panic attacks while shut off in her room under the isolation regime, with her mother and coach down the all but out of touch save messaging apps.
With the major once known as the “Happy Slam” by players eager to escape European winters, this year’s edition is turning into an emotional endurance test.
The start has already been delayed three weeks until February 8.
Kostyuk remains unsure if she will be ready to play:
“During the day I usually have anxiety attacks. Once I sat in the middle of my room and I started crying because I wanted to go outside and breathe fresh air,” she said.
“I try to keep busy throughout everything. the day in my room, but it’s very complicated.
“My mother and my coach are in the next room and we don’t have any doors to communicate with each other. I know other players do, but I don’t.
“We speak very little on the phone Since the connection here in the hotel is also bad. That’s why we only write messages. I know that she is fine. “
She added that working on fitness even in a rudimentary fashion makes some of the time worthwhile.
“I try to sleep well, maybe even more than usual. They brought me an exercise bike in my room, although it is true that I would like to have a treadmill I can’t even sweat on my bike.
“I also try not to eat unhealthy food. I order fruit at home delivery. In my free time I usually relax, read what the media write or watch some TV series “.
The young player believes that some of her contemporaries – possibly even herself – will find themselves unable to reach the starting gate after the blow of quarantine.
“I don’t know if all the players who are here right now will be able to play in the first round.
“Even I couldn’t guarantee that I could definitely play it myself. I don’t know how I’ll feel when I come out of quarantine.
“Maybe on my first day of training I will get injured and can’t play.”