Regarding the Russia flag scandal, Djokovic stands up for his “misused” father

After a video of his father posing at the Australian Open with some fans holding Russian flags surfaced, Novak Djokovic defended his father, stating the people were “misusing” him and that his family was opposed to war.

After a video from Djokovic’s quarterfinal victory against Andrey Rublev on Wednesday appeared on social media, the Serbian’s father Srdjan decided to “watch from home” rather than attend his son’s semifinal victory over Tommy Paul on Friday.

Due to the uproar created by the film, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese reiterated his country’s support for Ukraine and chastised those who supported Russia’s incursion.

“He (Srdjan) was passing through, took a picture, and it became worse. This group of people utilized him inappropriately in this circumstance, Djokovic told reporters.

“I can argue that it was not his fault, so I can’t be angry or irritated with him. He went out to party with my supporters. Following that, he felt awful and realized how that would affect me, the entire media pressure, and everything that had occurred over the previous 24-48 hours.

Djokovic lamented the fact that the situation had gotten worse.

During the 1990s, “my father, my entire family, and I have gone through multiple wars,” Djokovic stated.

“We realize how awful it is for the family and for the people in any country that is going through a war, so we are against the war and we never will support any violence or any conflict.”

“My dad was just passing by. There were numerous Serbian flags in the area. He had that thought. He believed he was posing for a picture with a Serbian. I’m done now. He continued on.

In a previous email statement, Srdjan claimed that he was simply in Melbourne to support his kid.

I have chosen to watch from home tonight’s semi-final so there is no interruption for my son or the other player, Srdjan remarked.

In order to tie Rafa Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam victories and extend his winning streak at Melbourne Park to 10, Djokovic will face third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the final on Sunday.

Srdjan’s return for the final was not confirmed by Tennis Australia, but Djokovic hoped he would be in his box.

Not having him around wasn’t fun, according to Djokovic. “I want him,” he said.

At a press conference earlier, when a reporter questioned whether Srdjan should be deported for taking pictures with the supporters, Albanese responded that Australia “stands with the people of Ukraine.”

He stated, “That is Australia’s position, and Australia is categorically committed to supporting the rule of international law.

“We do not wish to see any assistance given to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is having a terrible effect on the people of Ukraine,” the statement reads.


Following Djokovic’s match against Rublev, police questioned four spectators observed with “inappropriate flags and insignia.”

Although their flags are prohibited from the competition as a result of a complaint made by the Ukrainian ambassador last week, Russian and Belarusian competitors are still permitted to compete as individual athletes at the Australian Open without representing their countries.

Russian flags offended Ukrainian star Marta Kostyuk, who also expressed amazement at the security breakdown that permitted fans to fly them.

On the steps of Rod Laver Arena, a fan was seen in a social media video waving a Russian flag bearing President Vladimir Putin’s image.

One supporter also had a “Z” on his clothing, as seen in photos. Following their invasion, the Russian military started using the letter as an identification mark on their vehicles in Ukraine.

The sign was also utilized by certain invasion sympathizers.

A Tennis Australia representative confirmed that the fan was permitted to reenter after complying with the police when he was sighted again on Friday sans the “Z” shirt.

Djokovic, who was expelled prior to the 2022 competition due to his COVID-19 immunization status, said the most recent incident was unpleasant in comparison to what he went through the previous year.

It’s not anything I require or want. I’m hoping people will move on so we can concentrate on the tennis,” he remarked.

“Having to cope with all these other extraneous elements that are not actually necessary during such a significant event is not the ideal environment or set of circumstances.

“However, it has been a part of my life. Unfortunately, more so in recent years. I strive to grow from it. I strive to become stronger and more resilient.

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