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Former Australian Open champion blames hard quarantine for shock first round loss

Angelique Kerber at Australian Open

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She was one of the 72 players who had their access to daily training rescinded during quarantine following a positive coronavirus test on their flight to Australia.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.

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“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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