Srdjan Djokovic to miss Novak's semi-final match
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 5654
Novak Djokovic will face Tommy Paul in Friday's Australian Open semi-final at Rod Laver Arena. Novak's father Srdjan will not be in his box, deciding to watch the match from their home. Following Novak's quarter-final victory, Srdjan posed with pro-Putin protesters brandishing Russian flags, staying with them for a few seconds and leaving.
Ukraine's ambassador to Australia and their players urged tennis officials to ban Djokovic's father from the event after the incident. Srdjan released a statement, saying he and his family have always been for the piece and against war.
Also, Srdjan admitted he had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption, saying he would not come to Melbourne Park on Friday. Novak had no comments, focusing on his match and trying to reach his tenth final in Melbourne.
Spectators are banned from having Russian or Belarusian flags at the season's first Major after Ukraine's ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, demanded action when they were seen among the crowd during the opening week.
Srdjan Djokovic will not come to Melbourne Park on Friday.
"I'm here to support my son only. I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption. I was outside with Novak's fans, as I have done after all of my son's matches, to celebrate his wins and take pictures with them.
I had no intention of being caught up in this. My family has lived through the horror of war, and we only wish for peace. So there is no disruption to tonight's semi-final for my son or the other player, I have chosen to watch from home.
I wish for a great match and will cheer for my son, as always," Srdjan Djokovic said. "After the events of Wednesday night, we acted swiftly to work with police and our security teams to have the instigators of the protest removed from the venue.
Throughout the event, we have spoken with players and their teams about the importance of not engaging in any activity that causes distress or disruption. Mr. Srdjan Djokovic has issued a statement confirming that he will not attend tonight's semi-final.
We will continue to strive for the safety of fans at the event and reiterate our position on banning flags from Belarus and Russia. Tennis Australia stands with the call for peace and an end to war and violent conflict in Ukraine," Tennis Australia stated.