PRAGUE (AFP) – Czech player Renata Voracova said on Tuesday (Jan 12) she would demand compensation from Tennis Australia after being detained in Melbourne on the same visa grounds as Serbian star Novak Djokovic last week.
Both Djokovic and Voracova had their visas cancelled after presenting Covid-19 vaccination exemptions ahead of the Australian Open, which starts next Monday.
They were put in a detention centre in Melbourne pending a decision by Australian authorities.
While Voracova left Australia after being released last Saturday, Djokovic has stayed and is awaiting the final verdict on his status from the Australian government.
The compensation request “won’t be small,” the 38-year-old Voracova, ranked 82nd in doubles, told the Denik daily.
“The air ticket alone cost 60,000 Czech korunas (S$3,800) and my coach travelled with me. And then there is all that time, hotels, training for the Grand Slam, the potential prize money.”
“I hope Tennis Australia will face up to it and that we won’t have to take legal steps,” added Voracova, who said she had no appetite for tennis since landing in Prague on Monday.
“I’m not thinking about tennis. I’m still waking up from the shock, I haven’t processed it yet. I’m exhausted,” Voracova said.
She added that she did not want to look back at what had happened in Melbourne.
“I didn’t expect that in the darkest dream, it was just too much,” said Voracova, who admitted bursting into tears during questioning after she had been detained.
“I was worried. I didn’t feel safe until I was back home, nothing was certain.
“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.”