Novak Djokovic: WTA condemn Renata Voráčová's deportation as Serbian stays in Australia

Novak Djokovic, Voracova

The WTA have condemned Australian officials for deporting Czech tennis player Renata Voráčová, even after she followed all necessary procedures to remain in the country.

Voráčová had entered Australia last month, having received a vaccine exemption from Tennis Australia because she had recently caught and recovered from COVID-19.

However, the 38-year-old was then informed her visa was cancelled for failing to meet the Government’s requirement that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

An ABF spokesperson said: “All travellers who enter Australia must do so in accordance with our strict laws and entry requirements, regardless of their status or their reasons for entering the country.

“The ABF employ a multi-layered approach… this includes avenues to investigate, locate and detain non-citizens who have been found, after their arrival into Australia, to have breached our border entry requirements.”

ENTER GIVEAWAY

ENTER GIVEAWAY

Voráčová competed last week at the Melbourne Summer Set – a warmup event for the Australian Open.

However, unlike men’s world number one Novak Djokovic, the Czech star did not appeal the decision to cancel her visa.

Djokovic was detained upon his initial entry into Australia last week but was released after winning his court battle to stay in the country.

A judge ruled that the Serbian had done “everything required of him by Tennis Australia”, who had granted him an exemption to play in the Australian Open, despite being unvaccinated.

Now, the WTA have weighed in on the treatment of Voráčová and published a statement on their website.

It reads: “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.

Voracova

“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.

“That being said, the complications experienced over the past few days where athletes have followed the approved and authorised 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.”

Voráčová has played on the tennis circuit for more than 20 years, having turned professional back in 2000.

So far, she has won 15 ITF singles titles and reached a singles high ranking of 74th. In doubles, she peaked at number 29 in the rankings and has won 11 WTA events. Her best performance at a major came in 2017, when she reached the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at Wimbledon with Japan’s Makoto Ninomiya.

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