The 2-time former champion was crushed in straight units 7-5 6-4 by debutant Jessica Pegula and Azarenka pointed to her stunted preparation as not an excellent technique to prepare for the primary grand slam of the season.
The Belarusian was one in every of 72 gamers in strict isolation after arriving within the nation the place she was unable to go away her resort room for 2 weeks.
She managed to finish only one match publish quarantine, earlier than pulling out of the warm-up occasion with a decrease again harm.
“Was that one of the best preparation for me? No,” Azarenka informed reporters after her defeat. “The most important affect for me personally has been not having the ability to have recent air. That basically took a toll.”
“I do not know the best way to put together after two weeks in quarantine. I haven’t got a blueprint the best way to put together. It is all about making an attempt to determine it out and I did not determine it out. Not this time.”
Regardless of beginning the match effectively, Azarenka started to falter bodily and referred to as two medical timeouts within the second set.
Though she declined to present the explanations for the interventions, it appeared she was struggling together with her respiratory.
“I’m dissatisfied that I wasn’t capable of carry out that I knew I might. That is a bit laborious to simply accept right now as a result of I knew I can play higher, lots higher,” added Azarenka, who gained the Australian Open title in Melbourne in 2012 and 2013.
“On the identical time I really feel that I’ve tried all the things I can to have the ability to be ready, however sadly that hasn’t labored out for me.”
‘Very, very powerful’
Many gamers had been important of the way in which they had been handled within the strict isolation. None extra so than Spain’s Paula Badosa, who spent 21 days in quarantine after testing optimistic for the virus.
The 23-year-old was crushed 6-7 7-6 7-5 by Russian qualifier Liudmila Samsonova on Tuesday and blamed her isolation interval for the end result.
“I fought till the final minute. However it wasn’t sufficient. I believe my degree wasn’t on my finest,” Badosa informed reporters. “In fact, it has been very, very powerful. I believe my degree, it is not even 70% that I used to be earlier than.
“I am slightly unhappy or dissatisfied on that, however I’ve to see the state of affairs and it goes the way it goes.”
Match organizer Tennis Australia has been unapologetic in its choice to quarantine gamers, noting the protection of the native inhabitants as its precedence.
Australia enforced a few of strictest lockdown measures on the earth final 12 months, permitting most of the people to now be comparatively freed from the virus.
CNN has reached out to Tennis Australia for touch upon Tuesday however is but to obtain a reply.
Watson ‘did not really feel as match as standard’
Others confined to their resort rooms forward of the event fared higher on Tuesday.
British participant Heather Watson progressed by means of to the second spherical after defeating Czech opponent Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3).
Watson was one in every of many gamers to publish humorous movies to her social media accounts as she tried to maintain herself amused through the two weeks in isolation.
Though pleased with the win, the world No. 60 mentioned she did not really feel 100%.
“I did not really feel as match as standard, which is not any shock,” Watson informed reporters. “I am taking good care of my physique rigorously as a result of 4 days in the past my left leg went into spasm and I could not end working towards.
“I used to be actually frightened about if I used to be going to have the ability to play my first spherical right here.”
Elsewhere, Rafael Nadal cruised to a 6-3 6-4 6-1 victory over Laslo Djere as he began his bid for a twenty first grand slam title.
The Spaniard wants only one extra to overhaul Roger Federer however informed CNN Sport final month that he wasn’t obsessive about breaking his good friend’s report.
“I do know that won’t be the important thing for my happiness sooner or later. It isn’t further stress and it is not an obsession,” he mentioned.