Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia wants Novak Djokovic’s father banned from the Australian Open for posing with supporters of Russian president Vladimir Putin outside Melbourne Park.
A group of fans, including a man holding a Russian flag with Putin’s face on it, gathered on stairs outside the grand slam complex on Wednesday.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Djokovic’s dad pictured with Russian supporters.
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In a video posted to YouTube on Thursday, Srdjan Djokovic was filmed with the pro-Russian spectators, briefly speaking to the camera in Serbian before walking off.
It comes after Tennis Australia banned spectators from carrying and displaying Russian and Belarusian banners in Melbourne Park on the second day of the tournament.
Ukraine’s Australian ambassador Vasyl Myroshnychenko says Tennis Australia should ban Srdjan Djokovic for “such a disgrace’‘.
“It’s up to Tennis Australia to take action,’‘ he told News Corp.
“I think it would be a very good idea not to let him in.
“I don’t know why he would say something like that considering what the Russians are doing in Ukraine, how many people they have killed, tortured, raped and all the summary executions that have happened against civilians.’‘
Novak Djokovic plays American Tommy Paul in a semi-final on Friday night.
Tennis Australia issued a statement on Thursday which didn’t directly address Srdjan Djokovic’s actions.
“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.”
Past and present Russian flags, the Russian Eagle flag, Belarusian flags and items of clothing with the Z symbol are prohibited items at Melbourne Park.
TA had initially permitted spectators to bring Russian and Belarusian banners to Melbourne Park, as long as they did not cause disruption, but the policy was quickly reversed.
That rule has been flouted on multiple occasions but Wednesday night’s incident was clearly the most blatant.
Russian and Belarusian players, including Rublev, fellow Russian Karen Khachanov and Belarusian women’s semi-finalists Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka, were allowed to compete in Melbourne but must do so under a neutral banner.