Latest Australian Open quarantine changes ‘came as a bit of a shock’, admits Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta feeling the heat

The confusion surrounding the start of the 2021 tennis season has been “frustrating” for players, according to Johanna Konta, who admits they will “have to stay flexible”.

Players were initially told that they are likely to be allowed to arrive in Australia from mid December to quarantine before being allowed to play several warm-up events leading up to the Australian Open.

However, that date was thrown up in the air this week when the Victoria government announced that players will in all likelihood only be allowed to into the state by the end of December.

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Players will then have to undergo 14 days of quarantine, which would leave them with little time to prepare for the hard-court Grand Slam.

Konta admits the latest news came as “a bit of a shock”.

“Everyone was very much looking forward, and had kind of got their head round the 14 December date, and I think it came as a bit of an adjustment, a bit of a shock,” the British No 1 told BBC Sport.

“Everyone is obviously a bit frustrated. However, it’s not under our control, it’s not under Tennis Australia’s control – it’s a government decision.

“I think we just have to stay flexible, and stay open that things might change again, but hopefully if not we will be heading out at the end of December.”

If players do end up arriving at the end of December and quarantine for 14 days, then it is unlikely they will play any warm-up tournaments before the Australian Open.

Konta fears a lot of players would struggle if that is the case.

“From my perspective, my body wouldn’t be able to handle two weeks of de-conditioning, and then pushing me into the deep end,” the 29-year-old added.

“I think it would make it very difficult for players to be able to compete at the highest level without risking their bodies in the process.

“I think in an ideal world, players would get the opportunity to play one or two warm-up events. But I think this year has probably taught us there’s everything but probably ideal.”

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