Former US player Ashley Harkleroad has set the internet abuzz by stripping off during the current covid-19 quarantine – 12 years after a controversial Playboy shoot upset many tennis officials.
“Been saving money on clothes … #quarentinelife,” Harkle said on Instagram after posting the picture showing her completely naked with only her cute puppy looking up at her over Easter.
Harkleroad is no stranger to showing off her physique, causing controversy in 2008 when she became the first player to pose topless for Playboy magazine.
She later said of the shoot: “I thought about it, and it was something that I did.
“I’m proud of my body. I was representing a female athlete’s body.”
Harkleroad, now 34, made #39 in the WTA rankings in 2007.
Of the raunchy post, many fans saids they ‘felt faint’ and ‘had palpitations’ at the image – with one comment jokingly saying how nice the dog looked.
Former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka is the latest WTA Tour star to step up to play her role in fighting the pandemic.
The two-time Australian Open champion is auctioning a pair of autographed custom tennis shoes this month, with bids ending on 25 April.
Proceeds will go to the United Way of Miami-Dade’s Miami Pandemic Response Fund, which aims to address short-term impacts on working families with emergency needs, including rent and mortgage assistance, food, medication and utilities, and micro-grants for small businesses.
And British No.1 Johanna Konta posted a picture of herself on Instagram with the caption: “Getting all dressed up for my dog walk/ food shopping combo – I’m already missing my sweatpants…”
World No.1 Ash Barty has been practising in her backyard, posting as video of her daily routine with a cricket bat.
“Brick wall, golf ball, technique bat and forehand volleys. Sir Donald inspired,” she wrote.
Brick wall, golf ball, technique bat and forehand volleys. Sir Donald inspired 🏏
Happy Easter everyone! #stayhome pic.twitter.com/KKykiVCGMx
— Ash Barty (@ashbarty) April 11, 2020
Meanwhile, the 2020 WTA season took another hit over the weekend after Canada’s Quebec Province government banned sporting events until the end of August due to the coronavirus crisis, which ended any hopes of the Rogers Cup event in Montreal taking place.
“Our priority in the management of this crisis has always been to ensure the safety and well-being of our players, fans, volunteers, partners and employees,” Montreal tournament director Eugene Lapierre said.
“It is thus with a heavy heart that we received this news, but we understand that this decision was necessary.”
The men’s Rogers Cup is currently not affected by the ban, as it takes place in Toronto, but it too may fall victim to the epidemic in coming days.
The cancellations could cost Tennis Canada more than $10m.