Renata Voracova reveals she was told to undress during questioning by Australian border force officials

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Renata Voracova, the Czech player who was deported from Australia because of her Covid vaccination status, has revealed she was ordered to undress during her lengthy interrogation by border force officials. 

Doubles specialist Voracova was detained in Melbourne on the same visa grounds as Novak Djokovic last week, having initially been permitted to enter the country after being granted a medical exemption to compete at the Australian Open. 

But she was detained in Melbourne last Friday before having her visa revoked and was subsequently deported from the country, despite having already played in a warm-up tournament in Melbourne.

The Women’s Tennis Association on Wednesday threw its support behind Voracova, ranked No 82 in doubles, saying she had done “nothing wrong” to deserve several hours of questioning by border force officials, which it described as an “unfortunate situation.”

“It was as if I were watching a film – a long interrogation with instructions such as ‘undress, get dressed’. Yuck, I don’t even want to think about it, let alone live it again,” Voracova told Russian newspaper Denik, adding that she burst into tears during questioning which lasted up to six hours. 

Voracova has vowed to demand compensation from Tennis Australia, including the 60,000 Czech crowns (£2,000) she spent on her flight for herself and her coach to Australia.

“And then there is all that time, hotels, training for the grand slam, the potential prize money,” added Voracova. “I hope Tennis Australia will face up to it and that we won’t have to take legal steps. I’m not thinking about tennis. I’m still waking up from the shock, I haven’t processed it yet. I’m exhausted.”

She added: “I was worried. I didn’t feel safe until I was back home, nothing was certain.”

In a statement, the WTA said: “Renata Voracova followed these rules and procedures, was cleared for entry upon her arrival, competed in an event and then suddenly had her visa cancelled when she had done nothing wrong. We will continue to work with all authorities on addressing this unfortunate situation in an appropriate manner.”

Voracova had previously voiced her frustration at watching Djokovic, who was also granted the same medical exemption on the grounds he contracted Covid-19 within the past six months, win his court battle to temporarily stay in Australia earlier this week.

Speaking about her ordeal with BBC Russian, Voracova insisted she had intended to be vaccinated against Covid but suffered medical complications after contracting the virus, which prevented her getting the jab.

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