The Women’s Tennis Association have claimed that doubles player Renata Voracova, who had her visa cancelled and was deported from Australia last week, “did nothing wrong”.
Voracova was granted entry to Australia with a vaccine exemption and took part in a warm-up event in Melbourne before being detained by border officials amid the furore over Novak Djokovic.
After Djokovic’s appeal was upheld in court on Monday, Voracova expressed her disappointment at missing the grand slam.
“I am really sad that this happened,” she said. “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.”
In a statement, the WTA admitted that the situation is “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,” the governing body said.
“We will continue to work with all authorities on addressing this unfortunate situation in an appropriate manner.”
Voracova confirmed she is now seeking compensation from Tennis Australia over her treatment.
“The air ticket alone cost 60,000 Czech korunas (£2,060) and my coach travelled with me. And then there is all that time, hotels, training for the Grand Slam, the potential prize money,” she told Czech newspaper Denik.
“I hope Tennis Australia will face up to it and that we won’t have to take legal steps.”
Voracova added that the experience had been traumatising and admitted she had burst into tears after being detained by border officials.
“I’m not thinking about tennis. I’m still waking up from the shock, I haven’t processed it yet. I’m exhausted,” she said.
“I didn’t expect that in the darkest dream, it was just too much. I was worried. I didn’t feel safe until I was back home, nothing was certain.
“It was as if I were watching a film - a long interrogation with instructions such as ‘undress, get dressed’. Yuck, I don’t even want to think about it, let alone live it again.”
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