Novak Djokovic’s Dad Responds To Video Of Him Standing With Vladimir Putin Supporters At Aussie Open

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Novak Djokovic’s dad, Srdjan, has responded to a video showing him posing with tennis fans holding a Russian flag at the Australian Open shortly after his son’s win over Russian Andrey Rublev. In his response, Srdjan explains that he will not be attending his son’s semi-final match against Tommy Paul on Friday night.

A group of fans held up Russian flags, which are banned at the tournament, outside of the arena following Djokovic’s win over Rublev. Video shows Srdjan posing with a man holding a Russian flag with Vladimir Putin’s face plastered on the front of it.

The man holding the Russian-Putin flag is wearing a t-shirt with a ‘Z’ on it, which is the symbol supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The video was shared to a pro-Russian YouTube channel titled ‘Novak Djokovic’s father makes bold political statement.’

In his statement, Srdjan stated he had no intention of being “caught up” amid the pro-Putin supporters.

“I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption,” the statement read, according to the New York Post.

“I was outside with Novak’s fans as I have done after all of my son’s matches to celebrate his wins and take pictures with them. I had no intention of being caught up in this.”

“My family has lived through the horror of war, and we wish only for peace.”

“So there is no disruption to tonight’s semi-final for my son or for the other player, I have chosen to watch from home.”

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Novak Djokovic is seeking his 10th Australian Open title. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Tennis Australia identified four people who “revealed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security guards” and police ejected them from Melbourne Park.

Djokovic addressed the video of his father ahead of his semi-final match on Friday as well.

“The photo that he made, he was passing through. I heard what he said in the video. He said, ‘Cheers’. Unfortunately some of the media has interpreted that in a really wrong way. I’m sorry that that has escalated so much,” Djokovic explained.

“But I hope people understand that there was absolutely no intention whatsoever to support any kind of war initiatives or anything like that. My father, as I said, was passing through. There was a lot of Serbian flags around. That’s what he thought. He thought he was taking a photo with somebody from Serbia. That’s it.”

Shortly after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian tennis player Sergi Stakhovsky retired from the sport and joined the Ukrainian Army. Djokovic reached out to Stakhovsky and offered anything to help:

Written by Mark Harris

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