Czech Player Voráčová Detained Before Australian Open


Czech women’s tennis player Renata Voráčová was detained in the same immigration hotel as world number one Novak Djokovic ahead of the Australian Open, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Friday, confirming media reports.

ABC News reported on Friday the Australian Border Force (ABF) had cancelled Voráčová’s visa.

The Czech ministry said that it had sought an explanation to the situation but also that Voracova had decided to leave the country.

The 38-year-old is reported to have been granted a vaccine exemption by Tennis Australia as she has recently recovered from a Covid-19 infection.

A statement from Tennis Australia confirmed that in December it informed all players that they could qualify for an exemption if they had a prior COVID-19 infection in the past six months.

“We reject completely that the playing group was knowingly misled,” the statement, sent at 10.14 pm on Friday, said.

“Informing players they could get into the country on a medical exemption was taken from the Smart Traveller website that Greg Hunt directly referred us to.”

However, the website does not appear to include information about prior COVID infection being a valid vaccination exemption.

Voráčová, a 38-year-old doubles player from the Czech Republic, advanced past the first round at the Australian Open in women’s singles once, in 2007.

She hasn’t reached past the second round in women’s or mixed doubles at the Grand Slam either. She had played in a warm-up event in Australia before being detained.

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