Video Appears to Show Novak Djokovic’s Father With Pro-Putin Fans at Australian Open

Footage at the Australian Open appears to show Srdjan Djokovic, father of Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic, posing with fans carrying Russian flags and emblems.

In the video, posted on a popular pro-Putin YouTube account, Srdjan Djokovic is Short see next to the fans, one of them was wearing a T-shirt with the pro-war symbol “Z” and carrying a flag with President Vladimir V. Putin. Srdjan Djokovic says “Zivjeli Russiyani” to the camera – a phrase that translates in the video as “Long live the Russian” – before walking away.

The video also shows fans chanting Putin’s name, among other nationalist slogans, before being detained by security.

Russian flag was banned from attending the Australian Open last week.

“Four people in the crowd leaving the stadium exposed inappropriate flags and emblems and threatened security guards,” the Australian tennis governing body, Tennis Australia, said in a statement today. Wednesday. Police officers in Melbourne, where the tournament is being held, “interfered and are continuing to question them”, the governing body added.

Tennis Australia has banned both Belarusian and Russian flags from the tournament, as well as items with the letter Z, following a side court incident on January 16 in which fans raised the Russian flag during a match. between Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia and Kateryna Baindl of Ukraine .

But events on Wednesday showed that pro-Russian fans continued to flout the ban.

Photos taken at the men’s singles quarter-final match between Russians Andrey Rublev and Novak Djokovic on Wednesday show a spectator undressing to reveal a black T-shirt emblazoned with the letter “Z.” During the first months of the war, The Russian Ministry of Defense said the use of that letter is derived from the preposition “Za”, from the Russian phrase “Za pobedu” or “For victory”.

According to Australian government policy after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, players from Russia and from Belarus, which had supported Moscow, was allowed to compete at the Australian Open. But they are not allowed to do so as representing their country, and the flags with their names on the screens around the tournament have been removed or replaced with white tiles.

Two Belarusians, Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka, will compete on Thursday in separate women’s semi-finals, raising the possibility of an all-Belarusian Grand Slam final that neither player can. represent her hometown.


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