Australian Open 2020

‘I didn’t know my rights’ – Voracova opens up on deportation and Novak Djokovic visa restoration

Renata Voracova “is not mad” at Novak Djokovic despite his visa being restored whilst hers wasn’t and has revealed that she “didn’t know she could appeal.”

Whilst 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic had his Australian Open medical exemption and visa reinstated, Voracova was deported back to the Czech Republic.

Both Voracova and Djokovic travelled Down Under with the same medical exemption as they both claim they tested positive before Christmas. This was said to be reasonable grounds for an exemption in a leaked letter from Tennis Australia.

Voracova arrived before Djokovic and had been competing in the Gippsland Trophy in preparation for the upcoming Australian Open.

However, things changed when World number one Djokovic arrived. Djokovic was detained upon arrival after his medical exemption was deemed insufficient and his visa was cancelled.

This led the Australian Border Force to revisit Voracova’s medical exemption and subsequently cancel her visa, meaning she would be deported.

Voracova said “it is a good thing not only for him. Hopefully he can play because that is what we went there for: to play tennis and not be part of any inside games [politics].

“I was there already for one week and since he arrived things changed. I am not mad at him.

“I am really sad that this happened. It’s one of the biggest tournaments. You go there and this happens. You can’t even imagine it is possible in the 21st century to happen in this country.”

When talking about her deportation, Voracova said “I was not prepared for the way everything played out. I felt like being in an action film.

“We didn’t even use the normal lifts. We went through side lifts and total different ways (through the hotel) where people couldn’t see me. And then we went to the garage where there was a van.

“Several practices in quarantine are not pleasant. You have to report and everything is allotted. I feel a bit like [I was] in prison,” Voracova revealed.

“I really didn’t know after questioning what I was supposed to do, what my rights are. There were people with me from Tennis Australia, lawyers who were helping me. And they didn’t appeal to court.

“So I didn’t know I could do it. I just followed the advice they give me.

“I felt the worst when they told me they would cancel my visa. Even the lawyer who was with me said I had all the necessary confirmation [documents] in order.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.