'Feel a bit like in prison': Amid Novak Djokovic row, another tennis player held over visa issues in Australia

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 08, 2022, 07:57 AM(IST)

It is understood, Novak Djokovic is resisting deportation and play in the Australian Open. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Reports have stated that both Novak and Renata are being kept at the modest Park Hotel in inner-city Melbourne

After Novak Djokovic's detention in Australia, another tennis player has been held over visa issues ahead of the Australian Open 2022. Czech women's player Renata Voracova was detained by authorities on Friday (January 7) over visa disputes. The 38-year-old Voracova reacted to the situation as she said it's like a "prison".

"I'm in a room and I can't go anywhere. My window is shut tight, I can't open it five centimetres (two inches). And there are guards everywhere, even under the window, which is quite funny. Maybe they thought I would jump and run away," she told the Czech dailies DNES and Sport.

"They bring me food and there's a guard in the corridor. You have to report, everything is rationed. I feel a bit like in prison," added Voracova, labelling the hotel as "a better dormitory".

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

Reports have stated that both Novak and Renata are being kept at the modest Park Hotel in inner-city Melbourne. It is the same hotel where scores of asylum seekers are housed. In a report citing the Czech Foreign Ministry, CNN confirmed that Voracova is in the same detention as Djokovic.

"We can confirm that the Czech tennis player Renata Voráčová is in the same detention as Djokovic, together 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 touch with the tennis player," the statement added. 

It is understood that the 81st-ranked Voracova planned to leave after being caught in the situation. The Czech Foreign Ministry in a statement said: "Renata Voracova decided to drop out of the tournament due to limited possibilities for training and to leave Australia."

Also Read | Nick Kyrgios reacts to Novak Djokovic's treatment, says Australia must 'do better

What's Novak Djokovic row?

The 34-year-old Djokovic was held at the airport on Wednesday after the authorities revoked a visa granted on the basis of a medical exemption from Australia's strict vaccination requirements. 

So far, he has opposed mandatory vaccinations and was widely criticised in 2020 for hosting a tournament as the pandemic was first raging. 

Djokovic's lawyers won legal approval for him to remain until a full court hearing against the federal government on Monday. 

Meanwhile, Djokovic on Friday took to Instagram to thank his supporters. "Thank you to people around the world for your continuous support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated," he wrote.

The Australian Open begins on January 17. The Serbian player look to defend his Aus Open title and also bid to win an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam.  


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