Among the unvaccinated players logically entering the Australian Open table, there are those who preferred not to go at all, such as Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who recently tested positive. There is also the one who made the trip and made the forcing to participate and defend his crown of world No. 1, Novak Djokovic. And then there is the one who also came, and who left home having “the impression of being in a film”, as the Czech regional daily Denik recounts.
The Czech Renata Voracova, 38, ranked 82nd WTA in singles, suffered like the Serbian the cancellation of her visa due to exemption from vaccination deemed invalid. Also detained at the Park Hotel in Melbourne, she instead chose to accept the sentence and return to the country: “I was in a different situation from that of Novak,” she explains. I don’t have his experience. He is number one, economically secure. When I was told my visa was canceled and how difficult it would be to get it back, it didn’t make sense for me to stay in Australia. “
L’Equipe, which relays its history, specifies that Voracova was first able to enter Australia to play the first round of the doubles at the WTA tournament in Melbourne, where she was arrested last Thursday, not fully understanding what was happening to her: “I felt like I was in a movie, a long interrogation with instructions like ‘take your clothes off’, ‘get dressed’. Pfff, I don’t even want to think about it anymore, and especially never to relive it. No one had informed us, my coach or me, of any complications. When they told me my visa was canceled, I cried a lot. “
In an interview with the Czech dailies DNES and Sport on Friday, Renata Voracova recounted her conditions of detention at the Park Hotel where Djokovic was also held. “I’m in a room and I can’t go anywhere. I can only open my window a few inches. There are guards everywhere, including under my window, ”said the player, who said“ to feel a bit like in prison ”.
Leaving Australia on Saturday evening, she follows from afar the battle of the Serbian to play: “We both respected the rules but me, I do not play, it’s a shame. While I disagree with his point of view on immunization, I respect his position. At the start, I was against it too. Over time, I realized that even for those around me, my parents, it was right to be vaccinated (…) As soon as the doctors give me the green light, I will be vaccinated, no doubt about it (…) The world has changed, everything bothers me a bit! Now I mainly have to rest because it took a lot of strength from me. “
The Czech, doubles specialist (1/2 finalist at Wimbledon in 2017) also explains that she intends to request financial compensation from Tennis Australia: “And not a small one, in the order of hundreds of thousands of crowns. The trip alone cost me 60,000 crowns (around 2,500 euros). “