Lesia Tsurenko's coach Nikita Vlasov is accusing Novak Djokovic of supporting Russia as he thinks the Serb has yet to condemn Russia's actions in Ukraine. During the Australian Open, Djokovic's father Srdjan was filmed among a group of Serbian and Russian people.
In a video that was posted on YouTube, it was initially reported that Djokovic's father said "Long live the Russians." But Serbian reporters and Djokovic himself clarified the situation, saying that Srdjan Djokovic said a simple "cheers" to a group of Serbian people and definitely not what it was initially reported.
"Djokovic's father said on camera 'Glory to Russia!', And then claimed that he was misunderstood. Djokovic also did not have enough courage to say directly that he does not support the behavior of his father and so on. No. In his interviews, Novak never directly condemned Russia's actions in Ukraine, nor did he call for an end to the horror in our country.
Maybe it's time to use your status to stop all this, to call for peace? No, they support Russia. I was very surprised that this position was expressed so openly, so stupidly. And in such a competition," Vlasov told Tribuna.
Djokovic insisted the words of his father were mistranslated
After his next Australian Open match, Djokovic took a moment to address the incident at Melbourne Park.
“The photo that he made, he was passing through. I heard what he said in the video. He said, ‘Cheers’. Unfortunately some of the media has interpreted that in a really wrong way. I’m sorry that that has escalated so much.
But I hope people understand that there was absolutely no intention whatsoever to support any kind of war initiatives or anything like that. My father, as I said, was passing through. There was a lot of Serbian flags around. That’s what he thought. He thought he was taking a photo with somebody from Serbia. That’s it," Djokovic said after the incident.