A second tennis player who was scheduled to compete in the 2022 Australian Open but had their visa cancelled by the Australian Border Force (ABF) has been deported from the country – drizzling even more spicy sauce on what is already an extremely spicy meatball.
Renata Voráčová from the Czech Republic flew out of Melbourne Airport last night on her way to Dubai as per the ABC.
The 38-year-old has won a stack of doubles titles over her career but has always maintained her anti-vaccination viewpoints since the beginning of the global jab rollout. This meant it would be unlikely she could cross the Australian border unless given an official exemption from the federal government.
It is understood that she had been staying in the same immigration hotel in Melbourne as the world number one Novak Djokovic who is currently awaiting his court appearance on Monday where he will contest his own visa cancellation.
According to SBS, Voráčová is not following in Djokovic’s footsteps by contesting the visa cancellation as she believes she would not have enough time to train in preparation for the Australian Open which begins on the 17th of January.
The most puzzling feature about Voráčová’s case is that she had already been in Australia for some time while participating in a warm-up tournament.
When initially entering the country, the Czech was allowed across the border unlike Djokovic who was detained at the airport.
She presumed she had received the same exemption as Novak – one which permitted entry on the proviso that the recipient had been infected with COVID in the past six months, therefore having the antibodies necessary to ward off the virus.
Australian Border Force confirmed there was a third unvaccinated person believed to be an international tournament official, who has now left the country too.
“The ABF can confirm both individuals have now voluntarily departed Australia,” the ABF said in a statement last night.
This sitch is getting messier by the day but tbc we are kinda thankful as it’s the only thing distracting us from COVID numbers. Grim af.