Andy Murray was so distraught after his January coronavirus diagnosis ruled him out of the Australian Open that he couldn't bring himself to watch the grand slam.
The popular Scottish player had targeted a return to Melbourne Park as his first grand slam appearance since a lengthy injury layoff and rehab process, but was cruelly denied the chance as the pandemic continues to trouble much of Europe.
'THEY LEFT': Australian Open boss' horror admission about wife
Murray settled instead for playing a lower level tournament in Italy, with the 33-year-old revealing he had gone to great lengths to avoid news about the Australian Open.
The three-time grand slam champion said he had unfollowed almost all the players he know on social media to avoid hearing about the Open, which he was heartbroken to have missed.
"I didn't watch any because I wanted to be there myself," Murray said.
"It was a struggle to be honest.
"I stopped following all the tennis players I follow on social media and stuff because I just didn't really want to see it."
Novak Djokovic's straight sets demolition of a highly regarded, in form challenger in Daniil Medvedev once again fuelled suggestions the next wave of men's tennis greats are still not at the level required to challenge the likes of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
Murray himself admitted some surprise at the result.
"I expected the final to be closer to be honest but I also know how good Novak is there and when he's on his game and obviously highly motivated," Murray said.
"I saw before the final Medvedev said something along the lines of Novak having immense pressure on him, which is true.
"But those guys have been at the top of the game, they've been dealing with immense pressure their whole careers and they know how to deal with it and perform at their best level when it matters."
Family, Father Time Djokovic's big threat
Novak Djokovic worries that Father Time may prove his chief threat in his otherwise relentless march towards sporting immortality.
Just not the Father Time that thwarts other great athletes and brings careers to a crushing halt.
Feeling fresh and able to play for years to come, the world No.1 says juggling family life with the complexities of travel during a pandemic loom as his biggest concern as he hunts down the all-time grand slam titles record jointly shared by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic edged to within two of the Swiss and Spaniard's benchmark 20 slams with a comprehensive 7-5 6-2 6-2 Australian Open final victory over Daniil Medvedev on Sunday night.
But constantly being away from his wife and two young children is weighing heavily on the super Serb.
"At times it rips my heart apart," Djokovic said after etching his name on the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for a mind-blowing ninth time at Melbourne Park.
"I will have to revise my schedule comparing to the last year or any other season before this.
"Obviously time away from family definitely is something that has an impact on me.
"I'll have to see with these rules and regulations and restrictions in place all over the world, Europe.
"Not being able to take my family on the road is something that is a big problem for me."
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