‘Feel a bit like in prison’: Amidst Novak Djokovic, another tennis player detained over visa issues in Australia, Sports News


After Novak Djokovic was detained in Australia, another tennis player was detained for visa issues ahead of the 2022 Australian Open. Czech player Renata Voracova was arrested by authorities on Friday (January 7th) over disputes related to the visas. Voracova, 38, reacted to the situation saying it was like a “prison”.

“I’m in a room and I can’t go anywhere. My window is tightly closed, I cannot open it five centimeters (two inches). And there are guards everywhere, even under the window, which is pretty funny. Maybe they thought I was going to jump and run away, “she told Czech dailies DNES and Sport.

“They bring me food and there is a guard in the hallway. It should be noted, everything is rationed. I feel a bit like in prison,” added Voracova, calling the hotel “the best dormitory“.

READ ALSO | Novak Djokovic breaks silence, issues statement for first time since Australian Open visa saga

Reports have indicated that Novak and Renata are being held at the modest Park Hotel in downtown Melbourne. It is the same hotel where dozens of asylum seekers are accommodated. In a report citing the Czech Foreign Ministry, CNN confirmed that Voracova is in the same detention as Djokovic.

“We can confirm that Czech tennis player Renata Voráčová is in the same detention as Djokovic, along with several other tennis players, in Melbourne,” the Czech Foreign Ministry said as quoted by CNN.

“Our Consulate General in Sydney is now dealing with the situation and is in contact with the tennis player,” the statement added.

It is understood that the Voracova, 81st in the table, had planned to leave after being caught in the situation. The Czech Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “Renata Voracova has decided to drop out of the tournament due to limited training opportunities and to leave Australia.”

Read also | Nick Kyrgios reacts to treatment of Novak Djokovic, says Australia must “do better

What row is Novak Djokovic?

Djokovic, 34, was detained at the airport on Wednesday after authorities revoked a visa granted on the basis of medical exemption from Australia’s strict vaccination requirements.

So far, he has opposed mandatory vaccinations and has been widely criticized in 2020 for hosting a tournament as the pandemic first rages on.

Djokovic’s lawyers have obtained legal approval to remain until a full hearing against the federal government on Monday.

Meanwhile, Djokovic took to Instagram on Friday to thank his supporters. “Thank you to people all over the world for your continued support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated,” he wrote.

The Australian Open starts on January 17th. The Serbian player is looking to defend his Aus Open title and has also tried to win an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam.


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