Former World No. 1 Angelique Kerber was unceremoniously bounced from the first round of the Australian Open by unseeded American Bernarda Pera 6-0, 6-4 on Monday. 
As Jake Michaels noted for ESPN, Kerber was one of the 72 international players who had to observe a 14-day hard quarantine in Melbourne before the tournament after they were potentially exposed to coronavirus-infected individuals on charter flights. Following her unexpected loss, the 2016 Australian Open winner wondered if she should’ve just sat things out. 
“If I knew the real situation before my trip, I would maybe think twice to come here,” Kerber told reporters. “I was not planning the two weeks’ hard quarantine.
“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].

“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.”
Kerber is one of several players who have spoken out about the pre-tournament quarantine. Spain’s Paula Badosa tested positive for COVID-19 and said she felt “abandoned” by Australian Open officials during her isolation and called the experience “lamentable.” 
“If I knew this would happen, I would have stayed at home, because the thing is how much shape I lost. It wasn’t worth it,” Badosa told 


Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Germany’s Angelique Kerber in action during her first round match against Bernarda Pera of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
MELBOURNE – Former champion Angelique Kerber made an early exit from the Australian Open on Monday and said spending two weeks in hard quarantine ahead of the Grand Slam had contributed to her first-round loss.
The German former world number one was one of 72 players who were unable to leave their rooms to train during quarantine after passengers on their flights to Melbourne tested positive for COVID-19.
Her opponent Bernarda Pera was not among that cohort and the American ousted the 2016 Australian Open champion 6-0 6-4 in little more than an hour on the first morning of the tournament.
“Of course, you feel it if you are not the hitting ball for two weeks and you are not in the rhythm,” Kerber told reporters after her earliest exit from Melbourne Park for six years.
“I was really trying to staying positive and doing the best out of the two-week situation but you feel it, especially if you play one of the first matches in a Grand Slam … against an opponent who didn’t stay in the hard lockdown.”
Kerber congratulated Australia on its success in containing the new coronavirus and said she had enjoyed playing in front of fans again, however briefly.
The 33-year-old thought, however, that she might have reconsidered the long trip to Australia if she had known she would have to remain locked in her room for 14 days.
“When I look back, of course I was not planning the two weeks in hard quarantine,” she added. “I don’t know, maybe if I knew that before to stay really two weeks in the hard quarantine without hitting a ball, maybe I would think twice about that.”

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