Novak Djokovic’s father Srdjan Djokovic responds to Putin’s flag video

Novak Djokovic’s father will not be on the court for his son’s Australian Open semi-final against Tommy Paul on Friday night after posing with pro-Putin protesters earlier in the week.

The tournament was engulfed in scandal after police arrested four men outside the Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday night following Djokovic’s quarter-final win over Russia’s Andrey Rublev.

Spectators inside Melbourne Park were seen with pro-war placards and flags featuring Putin’s face as they chanted outside the stadium.

A video posted to YouTube now appears to show Djokovic’s father, Srdjan, posing with a group of men who were also seen waving Russian flags which have been banned from the Australian Open.

Djokovic waves to his parents after his quarter-final win in Melbourne on Wednesday.
Djokovic greets his parents (top right) after his quarter-final win in Melbourne on Wednesday.

News agency first reported the video which appears to show Srdjan telling one of the protesters «Long live the Russians» in a loose translation.

These translations were corrected by Serbian journalist @ozmo_sasa who noted that Srdjan said «Živeli, ljudi», meaning «cheers, guys».

In a video posted to the Aussie Cossack YouTube channel, the father of the nine-time Australian Open champion was seen alongside a man who wore a t-shirt that featured the ‘Z’ pro symbol prominently on it. -war.

The video also shows that the group of Russian activists were able to hold their protest for a long time before security intervened.

Tennis Australia confirmed earlier that four spectators had been arrested by police and questioned further.

A statement from Victoria Police confirmed that all four men were removed from the event.

But rather than pretend nothing happened, Srdjan will skip his son’s semi-final, releasing a statement on Friday.

«I am here to support my son only,» the statement read. «I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption.

Djokovic is set to face American Tommy Paul in Friday's semi-final in Melbourne, Australia.
Djokovic is set to face American Tommy Paul in Friday’s semi-final in Melbourne, Australia.
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«I was outside with the Novak fans like I did after all of my son’s games to celebrate his wins and take pictures with them. I didn’t mean to get caught up in that.

“My family has lived through the horror of war and we only want peace.

«So there’s no interruption to tonight’s semi-final for my son or for the other player I’ve chosen to watch from home.

«I wish a great game and I will support my son, as always.»

The statement also says Novak does not wish to comment.

The footage drew a lot of backlash, including from Nine commentator Sam Smith, who said Novak would be «devastated» by the footage.

Former Australian tennis star turned Victorian MP Sam Groth tweeted: ‘Acts of incitement have no place in our state and no place at our big events.

“The Australian Open should be a welcoming, safe and inclusive event for all, and not an opportunity to express a harmful and offensive agenda or deliberately intimidate others.

Djokovic declined to comment on this.
Djokovic hasn’t commented on this.

“Melbourne and Victoria are on the world stage and our reputation as the capital of major events is at stake. It is not enough for the state government to avoid responsibility and pass the blame on to others.

«The state government and event organizers must today explain the steps they are taking to end this unacceptable behavior.»

Former Ukrainian tennis star Alexander Dolgopolov has called for fans, including Djokovic’s father, to be banned over the drama.

«Absolutely disgusting. Politics should be kept out of sport, they said. These people have absolutely no business in tennis tournaments, including @DjokerNole’s father, if they openly do the praise of a genocidal regime,” he wrote.

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