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Australian Open Ambience 2021

‘She did nothing wrong’ – WTA release statement on Renata Voracova’s Australian Open deportation

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The WTA have released a statement in which they have called Renata Voracova’s deportation from the Australian Open “unfortunate” as they feel she “followed the approved and authorized process.”

Czech doubles player Voracova had been competing in the Gippsland Trophy in preparation for the first Grand Slam of the season, but things changed when 20-time Slam champion Novak Djokovic arrived Down Under.

Both Voracova and Djokovic had been granted the same medical exemption in that they both claimed they contracted Covid-19 over the Christmas period. This was believed to be reasonable grounds for an exemption based on a leaked letter from Tennis Australia.

However, when World number one Djokovic arrived at the Australian border he was detained by Border Force when his exemption was deemed to be insufficient and his visa was cancelled, leaving him facing deportation.

Whilst Djokovic was allowed to remain Down Under as he took the decision to court, where it was ruled that he would be permitted to stay and compete for a record-breaking 21st Slam title, Voracova wasn’t afforded such a luxury.

The Czech didn’t appeal her visa cancellation and subsequent deportation as she “didn’t know she could.”

Voracova described her deportation as “like being in an action film” and looks set to pursue compensation from Tennis Australia after being traumatised by her six-hour-long interrogation experience.

The statement read “the WTA is supportive and appreciative of all the efforts put forth by Craig Tiley and Tennis Australia to host the Summer of Tennis under conditions that continue to be challenging for all.

“The WTA believes that all players should be vaccinated and is in full support of the immigration policies that have been put in place as the protection of the Australian communities in which we compete is critical,” the WTA emphasised.

“That being said, the complications experienced over the past few days where athletes have followed the approved and authorized process of receiving a medical exemption for entry into the country are unfortunate.

“Renata Voracova followed these rules and procedures, was cleared for entry upon her arrival, competed in an event and then suddenly had her visa cancelled when she had done nothing wrong.

“We will continue to work with all authorities on addressing this unfortunate situation in an appropriate manner.”

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Australian Open Ambience 2021
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