Djokovic’s father filmed with fans holding pro-Russia flags at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Jan 26 — Novak Djokovic’s father has been filmed posing with followers brandishing pro-Russian flags at the Australian Open up in scenes Ukraine’s ambassador Thursday slammed as “a disgrace”.

The Serbian star had just booked his place in the tournament semi-closing with a straight sets thumping of Russian opponent Andrey Rublev in Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday evening.

After the match a team of followers unfurled Russian flags close to the stadium, which includes 1 featuring Vladimir Putin’s encounter, chanting professional-Russian slogans.

Tennis Australia claimed 4 people today “revealed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security guards”. Police had been known as and they have been ejected from Melbourne Park.

A online video later on posted to a pro-Russian Australian YouTube account showed Djokovic’s father Srdjan posing with a guy keeping the Putin flag.

It was captioned: “Novak Djokovic’s father makes bold political assertion.”

Serbian tennis reporters verified it was Djokovic’s father and the Melbourne Age newspaper reported he stated in Serbian: “Long reside Russia.”

Spectators are banned from possessing Russian or Belarusian flags at the Grand Slam immediately after Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, demanded motion when they have been viewed amid the crowd final week.

He mentioned on Twitter Thursday that the hottest incident was shameful.

“It’s a comprehensive deal. Among the the Serbian flags, there is: a Russian flag, Putin, Z-symbol, so-known as Donetsk People’s Republic flag,” he tweeted with a url to the video clip.

“It’s this kind of a disgrace … @TennisAustralia @AustralianOpen.”

An additional person was photographed by AFP inside of the stadium for the duration of Djokovic’s match with a professional-war “Z” symbol T-shirt — linked with guidance for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian players have commonly competed underneath a neutral white flag as independents, as is the circumstance at the Australian Open. — AFP

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