Novak Djokovic’s father poses with a Russian flag featuring Vladimir Putin’s face as a supporter shouts “Long live Russia!”
- Srdan Djokovic was filmed with the Russian flag
- The flag also featured the face of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin
- It comes as four fans were kicked out for their pro-Russian flags and chants
Novak Djokovic is facing further controversy after his outspoken father Srdan was filmed posing with a Russian flag emblazoned with Vladimir Putin’s face.
Shortly after Djokovic reached Thursday night’s semifinals, his father mingled with fans who declared their support for Russia, with police and Tennis Australia confirming four spectators were evicted from Melbourne Park.
Australian Open entry regulations specifically prohibit any flags in support of Russia or Belarus.
A video posted to YouTube shows Srdan posing next to the flag and a sympathizer shouting “Long live Russia!”
Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic (left) with father Srdan. After watching his son’s quarter-final win at the Australian Open, he posed with a Russian flag with Vladimir Putin’s face on it
Djokovic senior is greeted warmly by his son’s fans and appears to say something supportive before moving on.
Srdan was particularly candid last year when his son was deported after being jailed for not being vaccinated, and accused the Australian state of trying to “murder” his superstar offspring.
The player himself has been desperate to avoid controversy since arriving in Australia to focus on his title fights as he prepares to meet American Tommy Paul in Friday’s semifinals.
Unknowingly or not, he could be seen on Wednesday signing something for a man who had previously been wearing a “Z” T-shirt — Z became the makeshift logo of the Russian invaders in 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 in his quarter-final win over Andrey Rublev on Wednesday
Totally separate at the pure tennis level, there has been speculation as to how serious a hamstring injury he sustained during the tournament is.
A faction of Serbian fans at Melbourne Park were keen to demonstrate their allegiance to Russia, despite the huge human cost of the invasion of Ukraine on both sides.
A group of fans chanted “Russia, Serbia” to commemorate the close cultural ties between the two countries
Attempts to prevent her from publicly showing her support for Putin at tennis were unsuccessful as of Wednesday night.
Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Myroshnychenko today expressed his disgust at their behavior.
“It’s a complete package. Among the Serbian flags there 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.