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WTA Condemns Australia's Handling Of Czech Player In Visa Saga Amid Djokovic Controversy

The WTA has expressed its views on Australia's handling of Czech player Renata Voracova, whose visa was canceled after she competed in an event in Melbourne.


Image: AP

The Women’s Tennis Association(WTA) has condemned the handling of the tennis player from the Czech Republic, Renata Voracova by Australia, who was deported from the country due to the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination rules. WTA put out a statement on Wednesday and expressed its support for Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley for hosting the Summer of Tennis under challenging conditions but also mentioned that what happened with Voracova was unfortunate. WTA’s statement comes amid Novak Djokovic winning his legal battle against the Australian government regarding the cancellation of his visa last week. The Serbian tennis superstar’s visa was reinstated on Monday and he has already started his preparation for the year opening major. 

WTA said Renata Voracova did nothing wrong

Meanwhile, in their statement, WTA said the complications experienced by athletes who have entered into Australia with the medical exemption after following the approved and authorised process. The statement further said Voracova followed all these rules and was cleared upon her arrival in the country last month. She competed in an Australian Open 2022 warm-up tournament in Melbourne, before being ordered to leave the country. WTA added, her visa was cancelled suddenly and she had done nothing wrong. The women’s tennis governing body concluded the statement by saying they will continue working with all concerned authorities on addressing the unfortunate situation in an appropriate manner. 

Novak Djokovic accepts 'administrative mistake' on Travel Document

Djokovic turned to social media on Wednesday to clarify what he claims are "misinformation" about his activities in December in the lead-up to his positive PCR test. Djokovic said he attended a basketball game in Belgrade on December 14 following which multiple people tested positive for COVID-19. The Serbian star added that despite having no symptoms, he took a rapid antigen test on December 16, which was negative. Djokovic said out of an abundance of caution, he also took an RT-PCR test the same day. 

Djokovic said he attended a tennis event in Belgrade on December 17 to present awards to children. He said he took a rapid antigen test before going to the event, adding "it was negative". The 20-time Grand Slam winner said it was not until after the event that he received a positive PCR test following which he cancelled all his engagements except an interview for the L'Equipe. Djokovic said he felt obliged to go ahead with the interview as he didn't want to let the journalist down.

Talking about the rumours surrounding his travel declaration, Djokovic said his agent mistakenly ticked the wrong box while filling the form about his previous travel before landing in Australia. Djokovic said it was a human error and certainly not deliberate. Djokovic said his team has already provided additional information to the Australian government to clarify the matter. 

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