Angelique Kerber says she believes her being forced into hard quarantine was responsible for her shock Australian Open defeat to unseeded American Bernarda Pera.
Kerber, who is a former Australian Open champion, was bageled in the first set and failed to recover in the second, eventually losing 0-6, 4-6.
She was one of the 72 players who had their access to daily training rescinded during quarantine following a positive coronavirus test on their flight to Australia.
And that, coupled with the fact Pera was able to train, has left a sour taste in Kerber's mouth.
“I don’t know, maybe if I knew that before, to stay two weeks’ in the hard quarantine without hitting a ball, maybe I would think twice [about coming],” Kerber said.
“I was not feeling the rhythm that I was before the two weeks, to be honest.
"I was really trying to stay positive but you feel it, especially if you play the first match in a Grand Slam against an opponent who doesn’t stay in the hard lockdown.
“But I was trying to take the motivation for this tournament because it’s one of my favorite tournaments.
"I knew that we play with a little bit of fans, which makes tennis playing much more fun. So that was my motivation.”
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