Novak Djokovic’s father poses with a Russian flag featuring Vladimir Putin’s face as a supporter shouts, “Long live Russia!”
- Srdan Djokovic has been filmed posing with the Russian flag
- The flag also featured the face of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin
- It comes as four fans were ejected for their pro-Russian flags and chants
Novak Djokovic is facing more controversy after his outspoken father Srdan was filmed posing with a Russian flag with Vladimir Putin’s face on it.
Shortly after Djokovic reached the semi-finals on Thursday night, his father mingled with fans showing their support for Russia, with police and Tennis Australia confirming that four spectators had been evicted from Melbourne Park.
The Australian Open entry rules expressly prohibit any flags in support of Russia or Belarus.
A video on Youtube shows Srdan posing next to the flag and a sympathizer shouting ‘Long live Russia!’ calls.
Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic (left) with father Srdan. After watching his son’s Australian Open quarterfinal, he posed with a Russian flag that showed Vladimir Putin’s face.
Djokovic Senior is greeted warmly by his son’s fans and he seems to say something supportive before continuing.
Srdan was particularly outspoken last year when his son was deported after being detained for not being vaccinated, accusing the Australian state of trying to ‘kill’ his superstar descendants.
The player himself has been desperately trying to avoid controversy since arriving in Australia to focus on his title efforts as he prepares to face American Tommy Paul in the semi-finals on Friday.
Unknowingly or not, he was seen signing on Wednesday for a man who previously wore a “Z” T-shirt — Z had become the makeshift logo of the Russian invaders of Ukraine.
A fan at the Australian Open has been spotted wearing an ultra-nationalist Russian war symbol
Srdan Djokovic and his wife Dijana watch Novak during his quarterfinal victory over Andrey Rublev on Wednesday
Entirely separate on a purely tennis level, there has been speculation about how serious a hamstring injury he suffered as the tournament progressed.
A group of Serbian fans in Melbourne Park were eager to show their kinship with Russia, despite the enormous human cost of the invasion of Ukraine on both sides.
A group of fans chanted “Russia, Serbia” as a reminder of the close cultural ties between the two countries
Attempts to dissuade them from publicly showing support for Putin at tennis have proved unsuccessful, Wednesday evening revealed.
Ukrainian ambassador Vasyl Myroshnychenko today expressed his disgust at their behaviour.
‘It’s a total package. Among the Serbian flags is a Russian flag, Putin, Z symbol, the so-called flag of the Donetsk People’s Republic. It’s such a shame,” he told the Herald Sun.