Novak Djokovic’s father poses with a Russian flag emblazoned with Putin’s face
Novak Djokovic’s father has been warned about his future behaviour after causing outrage at the Australian Open by posing with a Russian flag with Vladimir Putin’s face on it.
Tournament officials were forced to issue a statement after a video emerged on a pro-Russia YouTube channel showing controversial Srdjan Djokovic’s actions.
Soon after the Serbian star reached the semi-finals on Thursday night, his father mingled with fans declaring their support for Russia. Police and Tennis Australia later confirmed that four spectators were evicted from Melbourne Park.
Srdjan is shown being warmly greeted by his son’s fans and he appears to say something supportive before moving on.
The parent was particularly outspoken last year when his son was deported after being detained as a result of not being vaccinated, accusing the Australian state of trying to ‘assassinate’ his superstar offspring.
The player himself has desperately tried to avoid controversy since arriving in Australia to focus on his title efforts as he prepares to meet American Tommy Paul in the semi-final on Friday.
Unwittingly or not, on Wednesday he could be seen signing something for a man who had earlier been wearing a ‘Z’ T-shirt – Z having become the makeshift logo of the Russian invaders of Ukraine.
This led embarrassed Tennis Australia to issue a general warning at a tournament where players from the aggressor nations are still left in.
‘A small group of people displayed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security guards following a match on Wednesday night and were evicted,’ it read.
‘One patron is now assisting police with unrelated matters. Players and their teams have been briefed and reminded of the event policy regarding flags and symbols and to avoid any situation that has the potential to disrupt.
‘We continue to work closely with event security and law enforcement agencies,’ read the statement.
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