Accused of pro-Russian attitudes, Novak Djokovic’s father has announced that he will not attend his son’s semi-final match.
Surprising Controversy at Australian Open Tennis Sredjan Djokovic announced on Friday that he will withdraw from his next tournament after coming under fire for his son Novak’s actions in recent days.
“I am here only to support my son. I don’t want to make headlines or cause disruption (…) I chose to watch the match from home so that neither my son nor his opponent would be disturbed during the semi-final.Srdjan Djokovic wrote in a press release, a copy of which was obtained by Agence France-Presse.
A video posted on Thursday by a pro-Russian Australian YouTube account shows Srdjan Djokovic posing outside the stadium with a man holding a Russian flag with the face of President Vladimir Putin. The man was wearing a T-shirt with a Russian pro-war symbol “Z”.
The Ukrainian ambassador in Canberra, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, demanded that tournament organizers withdraw Srdjan Djokovic’s accreditation after the video was broadcast. Mr Myroshnychenko called on Novak Djokovic, who is preparing to face American Tommy Ball in the semi-finals of the tournament, to personally apologize and clarify his position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “It’s important that Novak addresses this situation.”He insisted. “He should apologize for what happened and condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. »
Last week, Ambassador Myroshnychenko helped persuade Australian Open organizers to ban Russian and Belarusian flags from the arena during the tournament. The Russian embassy in Australia has called for a ban “New example of unacceptable politicization of sport”.
Former Ukrainian player Alex Tolkopolov, who is currently fighting with his country’s army, criticized Djokovic’s father’s behavior on Twitter.“absolutely disgusting”. He is one “Very sad” Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostyuk reacts at the Australian Open on Friday as supporters wave pro-Russian flags alongside Novak Djokovic’s father. “No matter who you are, no one has rights” To wave those flags,” said Kostyuk, 20, after losing in the women’s doubles semifinals. “Such things cannot remain in the shadows.”She insisted. “It’s very sad. »
On Wednesday night, a group of Russian fans defied the ban in a Melbourne park, chanting pro-Russian and pro-Putin slogans at the top. Simeon Boikov, the Australian pro-Putin activist behind the YouTube video, urged Russian fans to get down near the venue ahead of Djokovic’s quarter-final against Andrey Rublev on Wednesday. “Now it’s about honor and dignity. It’s an attack on honor and dignity. It has nothing to do with war.”In a video message, he apparently refers to the ban on Russian flags.
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