The 2-time former champion was overwhelmed in straight units 7-5 6-Four by debutant Jessica Pegula and Azarenka pointed to her stunted preparation as not a great strategy to prepare for the primary grand slam of the season.
The Belarusian was considered one of 72 gamers in strict isolation after arriving within the nation the place she was unable to depart her lodge room for 2 weeks.
She managed to finish only one match put up quarantine, earlier than pulling out of the warm-up occasion with a decrease again damage.
“Was that the very best preparation for me? No,” Azarenka informed reporters after her defeat. “The most important influence for me personally has been not with the ability to have recent air. That basically took a toll.”
“I do not know put together after two weeks in quarantine. I haven’t got a blueprint 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 properly, Azarenka started to falter bodily and known as two medical timeouts within the second set.
Though she declined to provide the explanations for the interventions, it appeared she was struggling along with her respiratory.
“I’m dissatisfied that I wasn’t capable of carry out that I knew I may. That is a bit laborious to just accept as we speak as a result of I knew I can play higher, quite a bit 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 every little thing I can to have the ability to be ready, however sadly that hasn’t labored out for me.”
‘Very, very robust’
Many gamers had been crucial 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 overwhelmed 6-7 7-6 7-5 by Russian qualifier Liudmila Samsonova on Tuesday and blamed her isolation interval for the consequence.
“I fought till the final minute. But it surely wasn’t sufficient. I believe my stage wasn’t on my greatest,” Badosa informed reporters. “In fact, it has been very, very robust. I believe my stage, 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.”
Event organizer Tennis Australia has been unapologetic in its determination to quarantine gamers, noting the security of the native inhabitants as its precedence.
Australia enforced a few of strictest lockdown measures on the earth final yr, 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 normal’
Others confined to their lodge rooms forward of the event fared higher on Tuesday.
British participant Heather Watson progressed via to the second spherical after defeating Czech opponent Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (7-Four) 7-6 (7-Three).
Watson was considered one of many gamers to put up humorous movies to her social media accounts as she tried to maintain herself amused throughout the two weeks in isolation.
Though proud of the win, the world No. 60 mentioned she did not really feel 100%.
“I did not really feel as match as normal, which is not any shock,” Watson informed reporters. “I am taking good care of my physique fastidiously 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 anxious 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-Three 6-Four 6-1 victory over Laslo Djere as he began his bid for a 21st 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 pal’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.