Like Djokovic, doubles specialist Voracova had been given a medical exemption to participate in the Australian Open, despite not having been vaccinated against Covid-19.
The waiver was granted on the basis that the 38-year-old had contracted the virus last month, which she said prevented her from being vaccinated, along with other medical issues.
“It’s a good thing, not just for him. Hopefully he can play. Because that’s what we went there: to play tennis and not be part of inside games,” Voracova, who plans to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in the future, Reuters told.
Voracova was already playing a tournament in Melbourne when her medical exemption was re-examined by authorities in the wake of Djokovic’s visa withdrawal by Australian border police officers, as the Serb had arrived in the country without being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 – what is a requirement for all foreigners to enter the country without being quarantined unless they have a valid medical clearance.
Voracova was held in the same hotel as Djokovic last Thursday before leaving the country on Saturday.
In a video call with Reuters, Voracova said she made it through immigration without a hitch and believed she would have competed in the Australian Open had the controversy surrounding Djokovic’s visa and his vaccination status not erupted.
“I was there for a week and things have changed since he arrived,” she said. “I’m not mad at him.
“I’m really sad that this happened. It’s one of the biggest tournaments. You go there and this happens. You can’t even imagine it can happen in this country in the 21st century.”
Like an action movie
Voracova, ranked 82nd in doubles, said she felt like she was in the middle of an action movie as she was escorted from the hotel where she had been staying.
“We didn’t even use the normal elevators. We went through side elevators and completely different roads (through the hotel) where people couldn’t see me. And then we went to the garage where there was a van,” she said.
The interrogation lasted about six hours. She said she would not appeal the decision to have her visa taken because she was not aware of all the legal implications.
“I really didn’t know after wondering what to do, what my rights are. There were people with me from Tennis Australia, lawyers who helped me. And they didn’t appeal to the court. So I didn’t do it I know I can do it, I just followed the advice they give me,” she said.
She said the windows in her room at the government hotel were locked and people were guarding the corridors between the rooms. With no chance to train, she chose to leave Australia.
“It’s a great relief to finally be home. During the day (there) I didn’t feel really well, I couldn’t sleep at all and I didn’t eat much,” she said.