Australian Border Force cancels tennis player Renata Voráčová’s visa ahead of Australian Open


A female tennis player from the Czech Republic is among three people connected to the Australian Open to have their visas cancelled.

The ABC can reveal Renata Voráčová, who has already played in a warm-up tournament in Melbourne, is being detained in the same immigration hotel as Serbian star Novak Djokovic.

She was detained by Australian Border Force officials yesterday and taken to the Park Hotel in Carlton. Djokovic was detained after his arrival late on Wednesday night.

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A government source familiar with the case has confirmed Voráčová was informed by ABF officials she must soon leave the country, but it is still unclear if she intends to challenge the decision.

Voráčová is believed to have entered Australia last month with a vaccine exemption granted by Tennis Australia because she had recently contracted and recovered from COVID-19. 

Late on Friday an ABF spokesperson told the ABC that the third "individual has voluntarily departed Australia following ABF inquiries".

Sources have told the ABC the third person who has already left Australia was a European tennis official, although this is yet to be formally confirmed by the federal government.

In Voráčová's case, Czech diplomats are in contact with the 38-year-old player, and the country's embassy has launched a formal protest with Australian authorities.

"We can confirm that Czech tennis player Renata Voráčová is in the same detention as Djokovic, together with several other players," the Czech Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"We submitted through our embassy in Canberra a protest note and are asking for an explanation of the situation.

"However, Renata Voráčová decided to drop out of the tournament due to limited possibilities for training and to leave Australia."

Voráčová made her grand slam debut in doubles in 2002 in New York but has won only one match in 12 appearances at the highest level and is currently ranked 81.

The ABC has approached the Home Affairs Minister's office for comment.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


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