Victoria Azarenka Calls For Calm As Two Australian Open Players Test Positive For COVID-19 - UBITENNIS
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Victoria Azarenka Calls For Calm As Two Australian Open Players Test Positive For COVID-19

Last year’s US Open finalist has spoken out amid growing frustration over the quarantine system in Melbourne.

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Former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka has called for empathy from both players and the public regarding the current quarantine system. 

 

The two-time Australian Open champion has published a open letter on her Twitter account in which she urged ‘co-operation, understanding and empathy for a local community that has been going through a lot of very demanding restrictions.’ Under government rules all players are required to quarantine for 14 days ahead of the Australian Open. However, some players are going through a stricter system after being classed as a close contact following a series of a positive cases on their flights to the country. Those deemed close contacts must stay in their rooms at all times. 

Whilst most players have been contempt with the current system, there has been controversy. Some have complained about the quality of the food they have received and others have voiced their unhappiness with the current system. Roberto Bautista Agut has gone as far saying that the situation is a complete disaster.’

In a bid to ease tensions, Azarenka says it is important that everybody looks at the wider picture concerning the pandemic. 

We have a global pandemic, nobody has a clear playbook of how to operate at full capacity and without a glitch, we all have seen it last year. Sometimes things happen and we need to accept, adapt and keep moving,” she wrote.
“I would like to ask all my colleagues for co-operation, understanding and empathy for a local community that has been going through a lot of very demanding restrictions that they did not choose, but were forced to follow.
“I would like to ask to be sensitive as well to the people who have lost their jobs and loved ones during this horrible time for all of us around the world.
“I would like to ask all of us to have respect for people who work tirelessly to try to make our lives easier.”

Amid the frustration players have come under fire from the Melbourne public over how a minority of them have reacted to the situation. For this reason Azarenka has called for more empathy from everybody.

“I would like for the people in the community to know and understand that we have it as our top priority to ensure the health and safety of all the people,” she continued in her letter.
“I would like for us to please try to support each other as much as someone can or is willing to.
“Things are always easier when you have a compassionate environment and work together.”


Over the weekend Novak Djokovic sent a letter to Craig Tiley in which he pleaded for changes to the quarantine rules. However, those requests have been dismissed by local health officials. 

As Azarenka seeks to calm the storm, it has been confirmed that two unnamed players have tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. It is unknown if those who tested positive had been placed in the stricter quarantine prior. A third person who is ‘associated with the tournament’ has also tested positive. The trio are made up of a woman in her 20s and two men in their 30s.

This does not change broader assessment of the player group in hotel quarantine,” a public health statement said.

No further details about the positive cases has been provided. 

Azarenka’s letter in full 

https://twitter.com/vika7/status/1351378719802159105

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Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini reach the quarter finals in Madrid

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Alexander Zverev beats Dan Evans 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to reach the quarter final at the Madrid Mutua Open. Matteo Berrettini moved into the quarter final with straight-set win over Federico Delbonis

 

Evans earned an early break to take a 1-0 lead. Zverev broke twice in the second and fourth games to open up a 4-1 lead and closed out the first set 6-3 with an ace. 

Evans saved the only break point of the second set at 4-4. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Zverev got three mini-breaks to win the breaker 7-3. 

Matteo Berrettini has reached the third Masters 1000 quarter final of his career with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. 

The first set went on serve until the eighth game, when Delbonis saved the only break point. Delbonis went up a 4-1 lead, but Berrettini fought back by winning six consecutive games to take the first set 7-4. 

Berrettini went up an early break to take a 2-0 lead, but Delbonis broke straight back to draw level to 2-2, when Berrettini made two forehand unforced errors. The next games went on serve until the 10th game, when Berrettini earned the break to win the second set 6-4. 

Berrettini will face a quarter final against Christian Garin, who upset Danil Medvedev. Berrettini ties 1-1 in his two head-to-head matches against Garin. Garin beat Berrettini in the 2019 BMW Open final in Munich. Berrettini avenged this defeat against his South American player in Shanghai later that year. 

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Casper Ruud stuns Stefanos Tsitsipas to take the biggest win of his career

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Casper Ruud scored his first win over a top five player, beating this year’s Monte-Carlo champion and Barcelona finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 after 1 hour and 34 minutes without facing a break point. 

 

The Norwegian player has reached his third consecutive clay-court Masters 1000 quarter final following the semifinals in Rome in 2020 and in Monte-Carlo last month. 

The first set went on serve with no break points. Ruud won the tie-break 7-4 with two mini-breaks before earning the only break in the seventh game to close out the second set 6-4. 

Tsitsipas won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo and lost the Barcelona final after holding a championship point against Rafael Nadal. 

“Stefanos is one of the best players this year on the Tour, one of the ones who has the most matches. He has won his first Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo. He was very close to getting the title there, as well, but the conditiions are a bit different here than other clay courts with there, as well, but the conditions are a bit different here than other clay courts with the fast shots, the ball travelling faster through the air because of the altitude. You get a lot of free points with the serve that you don’t usually get on the clay courts. I think that also today went a bit in my advantage. I felt like he was doing some mistakes that he doesn’t always do. I was just trying t take care of the chance that I got”, said Ruud.Ruud set up a quarter final against Alexander Bublik, who beat Aslan Karatsev 6-4 6-3. Ruud beat Bublik in their only previous head-to-head match against Bublik in three sets in St. Petersburg.

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Ash Barty Eases Into Madrid Final

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Number 1 seed Ashleigh Barty beat Paula Badosa 6-4 6-3 to reach her fourth final of the 2021 season at the Madrid Mutua Open after winning three titles at the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami and Stuttgart.

 

The first set went on serve in the first nine games. Barty earned two break points in the 10th game with a lob and loose forehands from Badosa. Badosa saved two set points with winners, but Barty converted her third chance after a double fault from Badosa to close out the first set 6-4. 

After an early trade of breaks, Barty earned her second break after a double fault from Badosa in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. The Aussie star saved three break points in the fifth game and held serve for 4-1 with a dropshot. Barty dropped just two more points on serve to close out the second set 6-3. 

Barty has extended her red clay winning streak to 16 consecutive matches and her win-loss record to 25-3 this season. 

Barty has clinched her 16th consecutive win on red clay. The Australian player avenged her recent defeat against Badosa in the quarter finals in Charleston. 

“It was important for me to get that early break back in the second set and keep my nose in front, almost force her to come up with something that was going to be a really high level to be at a high level to be able to get back into the match. I have learnt a lot about clay, without a doubt. I promise you, I am still counting down to the grass court season. It’s one of the my favourite times of the year. I think the memories and the learnings now that we are getting from the red clay has been really cool, to be able to challenge myself in different ways”, said Barty.

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