The peak women’s tennis body has slammed Tennis Australia’s handling of Czech tennis player Renata Voracova, who was caught up in the visa controversy that engulfed world No.1 Novak Djokovic.
Doubles specialist Voracova left Australia, before the start of the year’s first grand slam, after her medical exemption visa was cancelled.
Voracova had been allowed into the country for a week and played a match before she was sent to the same detention hotel as Djokovic.
However, in contrast to the Serbian superstar who remains Down Under as he bids to defend his Australian open title, 38-year-old Voracova opted not to legally appeal the decision and flew out of Melbourne on Saturday.
The WTA issued a statement on Wednesday describing the situation as “unfortunate” and said they were seeking further details.
They said they appreciated the efforts of Tennis Australia and its chief executive Craig Tiley to host the year’s first grand slam in challenging circumstances but were unhappy with the treatment of Voracova.
“The WTA believes that all players should be vaccinated and is in full support of the immigration policies that have been put in place as the protection of the Australian communities in which we compete is critical,” the WTA said.
“That being said the complications experienced over the past few days where athletes have followed the approved and authorised process of receiving a medical exemption for entry into the country are unfortunate.
“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 said she wasn’t vaccinated but had planned to do so about the time she became ill with COVID-19 before Christmas.