A Czech tennis player joined Novak Djokovic in immigration detention after having her visa canceled, in a sweep by authorities on players entering the country with vaccination exemptions.
Czech Republic doubles specialist Renata Voracova had played in Melbourne earlier this week but was informed by Australian Border Force officials that she had to leave the country. The Czech Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Voracova had decided to leave the country.
Shortly after news of the detention broke, the Australian Border Force (ABF) said an individual had left the country voluntarily while a third had been taken into immigration detention, without naming the Czech player.
"The ABF can confirm that one individual has voluntarily departed Australia following ABF inquiries," the ABF said.
"We can also confirm that the visa of a third individual has been cancelled. This person has been taken into immigration detention pending their removal from Australia."
The Czech Foreign Ministry added that it had lodged a formal protest through its embassy in Canberra.
Voracova was a promising junior who won the French Open girls doubles title in 2001. The 38-year-old made her grand slam singles debut in 2002 in New York but has won only one of her 12 matches at the majors and is currently ranked 81. She has fared far better in doubles, winning 11 titles and reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2017. She has career earnings of $1.88 million.
She was being held at the Park Hotel in Carlton, the same hotel where Djokovic, who has won $154,756,726 in prize money along with 20 grand slam titles, is being detained.
In another development, the Herald Sun published an information sheet sent from Tennis Australia to players on Dec. 7 that shows it passed on advice regarding grounds for medical exemptions that differs from the recommendations it received from federal authorities.
The document advises a COVID-19 infection in the last six months could be considered grounds that would enable an unvaccinated player to enter the country, provided it was accompanied by documents certifying the infection.
It contradicts advice the Federal Government sent to TA in November stressing that a prior infection in the past six months did not meet the requirements for quarantine-free entry.
The Victorian Government said on Friday that TA did not advise them of this development. TA has not commented publicly since Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley defended the exemption granted to Djokovic on Wednesday as the Serbian was on his way to Australia.