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9 Feb, 2021 11:20

‘All this goes out on the internet’: Azarenka refuses to talk about health problems after struggling to breathe in Aus Open exit

‘All this goes out on the internet’: Azarenka refuses to talk about health problems after struggling to breathe in Aus Open exit

Belarusian star Victoria Azarenka declined to answer questions about her health after experiencing breathing difficulties during her shock Australian Open exit, calling on tennis authorities to give players privacy.

The two-time Australian Open winner worried fans when she needed an emergency medical break during the second set against Jessica Pegula, after visibly struggling to breathe on the court.

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Being a set and a break down, the Belarusian was leading on her serve 40-0 when she suddenly walked over to the shade and bent over, trying to normalize her breathing.

The medical officials rushed to help, escorting the player, who apparently needed an inhaler, off the court.

The 12th seed Azarenka resumed the game after a medical pause, but she failed to rescue her match against the rising US star, losing in two sets 7-5, 6-4.

When asked about her health conditions during the post-match press conference, the 31-year-old said that players shouldn’t be obliged to reveal medical details until they want to do so.

Even legally, doctors should not release any information. I feel like that should put a bit of a light on a new and adjusted rule that should be in place. I don’t really know why we’re getting asked about some of, like, medical conditions from players, because all this is going out on the internet after for people to talk about, to judge about,” she said.

I truly don’t ever understand that rule of why, when somebody is sick, injured, or whatever, they have to give their medical reason out in the world. I think that should be changed, unless players do want to talk about that, then they can,” the player added.

Azarenka has become one of the few seeded players to have ended their Australian Open campaign early, with many favorites still in contention for the coveted trophy.

Elsewhere, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev didn’t have any trouble securing a spot in the second round, defeating Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-2, 6-2, 6-4, and extending his winning streak to 15 matches.

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His compatriot Andrey Rublev sent Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann home on Tuesday, taking a confident three-set win.

Spanish legend Rafael Nadal showed no signs of his back injury, easily beating Laslo Djere of Serbia in his first-round clash in Melbourne.

Home favorite Ashleigh Barty needed just 44 minutes to dismantle Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic 6-0, 6-0, while defending champion Sofia Kenin of the US put in more effort to progress to the second round, beating wild-card entry Maddison Inglis 7-5, 6-4.