Simona Halep prepared for ‘mental’ challenges that daunting Australian Open quarantine period poses
Two-time Grand Slam winner Simona Halep concedes the 14 days of quarantine ahead of the Australian Open will be “mentally hard”, but feels the 2020 bubble experiences will stand her in good stead.
The 2021 season-opening Grand Slam has been pushed back to February 8 to allow players to quarantine for two weeks in a bio-secure bubble.
However, the bubbles are not foreign concepts for players as several tournaments used it in 2020 after the WTA Tour resumed following a five-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I know that it will be hard mentally, but I feel like my experiences in bubbles in 2020 will help me know a little more what to expect,” Halep told Reuters.
“I am also less stressed because I know that they have Covid so well under control in Australia and that once we are out of quarantine, we will be free!
“This year in lockdown has meant that we are all a lot more used to spending time inside than we used to be.”
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The Romanian had a shortened 2020 season as she opted to skip the American swing, including the US Open, and ended up playing only three events – Prague Open, Italian Open and French Open.
She has been putting in the hard yards ahead of the new campaign.
“I worked a lot on my fitness,” the 2019 Wimbledon winner said. “I have to take care of my body now more than ever so lots of strengthening exercises and speed work, and from the beginning of December we really stepped up the work on court.
“Lots of drills and repetition and now finally I am playing sets against other Romanian girls, getting ready for the first matches in Australia.”
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