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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday January 18, 2021

Victoria Azarenka has her finger on the pulse of this moment in tennis. And the former World No.1 and Australian Open champ spent some of her hard quarantine time summing up her thoughts and penning a heartfelt, lengthy letter that calls for understanding and unity among the players, the media and the Victorian people.

Tennis Express

“This has been a very difficult time for a lot of us that did not expect to end up in the situation that we are in today, myself included,” Azarenka said. “To be in a 14-day hard quarantine is very tough to accept in terms of all the work that everyone has been putting in during their off-season—to be prepared for playing our first Grand Slam of the year. I understand all the frustration and feeling of unfairness that has been coming and it is overwhelming.”

Azarenka continued, urging people to take a measured approach and reminding her colleagues and players to consider and acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifice of the Victorian community before voicing any frustrations.

“We have a global pandemic,” she wrote. “Nobody has a full 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. I would like to ask all my colleagues for cooperation, understanding and empathy for the local community that has been going through a lot of very demanding restrictions that they did not choose, but were forced to follow.”

Azarenka called for sensitivity and compassion, and reminded the media of their role in portraying the sport and the event.

“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,” she said. “I would like to ask us to have respect for people who work tirelessly to try to make our lives easier. I would like to ask the media to please have consciousness on the impact and influence you bring to this situation and the community. 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.”

And she finished with a call for support—something everybody could use these days.

“Lastly, I would like for us to please try to support each other as much as someone can or is willing to,” she wrote. “Things are always easier when you have a compassionate environment and work together.”

Azarenka is one of 72 players to have been confined to her room for two weeks. These players, deemed in close contact to others on their inbound flights to Melbourne, will not be able to leave their hotel rooms, while others will be granted five hours per day of training at Melbourne Park.