Nearly a week after tennis player Renata Vorakova was kept at the same hotel where Novak Djokovic was staying, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) this Tuesday went public to defend the Czech Republic athlete. The unit said Vorakova followed all rules and procedures required by the Australian authorities.
Like Djokovic, Vorakova has not been vaccinated for COVID-19 and has sought “special medical permission” to enter Australia and be able to compete in the season’s first Grand Slam. She obtained a permit, entered the country unrestricted via Melbourne, and even participated in a preliminary tournament for the Australian Open.
Only then are the checks interrogated by Australian authorities, sent by the hotel where they are refugees, as happened with Djokovic, and his visa revoked. Unlike the Serbian, he did not appeal to the local court and decided to leave the country of Oceania. Apart from these two, an officer also went through the same situation and went to Australia voluntarily last week.
“Renata Vorakova followed all rules and procedures, participated in a tournament as soon as she landed, and suddenly her visa was revoked when she did nothing wrong,” the WTA said in a statement. “We will continue to work with all authorities to address this matter in a more appropriate manner.”
Earlier, the tennis player, a doubles specialist, went public to demand compensation from Tennis Australia, the Australian tennis federation responsible for organizing the Grand Slam.
“For just one plane ticket I spent 60,000 CZK (about EUR 2,460 or R$15,700) and my coach traveled with me,” said the 38-year-old athlete, 82nd in the world in the doubles ranking. “And all that time I spent in the country, in paid hotels, training for the Australian Open and the potential prize pool[in tournaments]”, he said.
Vorakova said she would contact the Australian federation directly in an effort to avoid any legal action in the matter. “I still can’t digest what happened. I’m scared and exhausted. I couldn’t imagine a situation like this even in my nightmares. It was too much.”