Former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka is the latest WTA Tour star to step up to play her role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-time Australian Open champion is focusing her efforts on helping ordinary members of the Florida community whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the outbreak, and is auctioning a pair of autographed custom tennis shoes this month, with bids ending on 25 April. Proceeds will go to the United Way of Miami-Dade's Miami Pandemic Response Fund, which aims to address short-term impacts on working families with emergency needs, including rent and mortgage assistance, food, medication and utilities, and micro-grants for small businesses.
Elsewhere, players are focusing on ways to stay positive amidst lockdown and uncertainty. Mihaela Buzarnescu, who has endured more than her share of injuries over the course of her career, has reminded herself of all she has overcome so far.
Each time I think about my sacrifices and all the hard times I had in my career, I know I can overcome anything! And like all bad things, this pandemic will come to an end! It ’s important to keep our spirits high and stay optimistic!— Mihaela Buzarnescu (@MikiBuzarnescu) April 11, 2020
Photo @abubusworld #mikiwta #mikibuzarnescu pic.twitter.com/PYUAjny1Ue
Meanwhile, Mandy Minella has been heartened by watching two-year-old daughter Emma Lina's happiness.
My daughter waking up every morning singing and acting like it‘s the BEST day of her life 😍😂 #learnfromkids #maketodaycount— mandy minella (@mandyminella) April 11, 2020
Martina Hingis is also enjoying motherhood while in lockdown. The five-time Grand Slam champion famously began playing tennis as soon as she could hold a racquet under the tutelage of mother Melanie Molitor - and Hingis is keeping the tradition alive by getting one-year-old daughter Lia started on her volley technique.
Lia is just practicing some volleys for @Wimbledon 😋 🎾 🌱🌱🌱 #risingstar pic.twitter.com/LDZ6Ni1RRc— Martina Hingis (@mhingis) April 11, 2020
Others are doing what they can under lockdown rules to keep their spirits high. Kirsten Flipkens took the opportunity for an epic bike ride, Sloane Stephens and fiancé Jozy Altidore have been going for weekend drives, Danka Kovinic took in the Montenegrin scenery and Johanna Konta showed off her fashionista side on her daily permitted outing.
Weather (and especially the legs 😊) was too good to not take advantage of it! Was in need for a challenge after more than a month of no challenge 🚲🤟 pic.twitter.com/YazBu1R1YO— Kirsten Flipkens (@FlipperKF) April 11, 2020
I know it can be hard spending so much time at home. Jos & I have been taking little drives on weekends to get a change of scenery. It’s a little thing but it’s been helping us. If you guys are able to it maybe it can help you too ♥️ how else are you getting through this time? pic.twitter.com/hEQdAcVNEy— sloanestephens (@SloaneStephens) April 11, 2020
Perfect spot for a perfect view 💫 #hercegnovi #bokabay #Montenegro pic.twitter.com/iRDV7GDh63— Kovinić Danka (@DankaKovinic) April 11, 2020
Getting all dressed up for my dog walk/ food shopping combo - I’m already missing my sweatpants... 😬😂 pic.twitter.com/YWZskS0ZuZ— Johanna Konta (@JohannaKonta) April 11, 2020
Of course, fitness hasn't been forgotten. British No.12 Maia Lumsden even found the space for a makeshift tennis match with brother Ewen, complete with a wheelie bin as an umpire chair and a ball dog.
Good match today @ewen_lumsden 🤝 Thanks to the umpire and ball dog for their time 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/QKMZqh9Vr4— Maia Lumsden (@maialumsden) April 10, 2020
Viktoria Kuzmova is among those pivoting to new ways to work out, with the Slovak No.1 getting her garden in order at the same time. Meanwhile, Storm Sanders compiled Australian players' lockdown exercises into one video as a way to be united at home, while Ashleigh Barty took the volley challenge to a new level.
New kind of gym 𪐼🌾🧑🌾#HappySaturday #GardenLife pic.twitter.com/pcTFAzmbtf— Viktoria Kuzmova (@KuzmovaViktoria) April 11, 2020
Brick wall, golf ball, technique bat and forehand volleys. Sir Donald inspired 🏏— Ash Barty (@ashbarty) April 11, 2020
Happy Easter everyone! #stayhome pic.twitter.com/KKykiVCGMx
Happy Easter and stay safe everyone 💛💚 @TennisAustralia @WTA @wwos pic.twitter.com/VfMHaSAgT7— Storm Sanders (@stormsanders94) April 11, 2020