Victoria Azarenka: "Novak Djokovic has nothing to do with pro-Russian flags"
by LORENZO CIOTTI | VIEW 11013
During the match between Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev, some people in the crowd showed pro-Russian flags with Vladimir Putin's face, and forced the local police to intervene. A video posted on YouTube later showed Novak's father Srdjan Djokovic posing with the man holding the flag with Putin's face.
In Melbourne, according to the regulation imposed by the organizers of the Australian Open, people in the crowd are not allowed to display Russian or Belarusian flags during the tournament. Victoria Azarenka was questioned about the incident and responded to journalists' questions.
She said: "Here's news from whom? You're talking about it now and I take it from this that it's a topic you want to keep bringing up over and over again. I don't know what you want me to say. I don't understand what this has to do with Djokovic, honestly.
Today I spoke to one of the security personnel, I've known him for years, and he explained to me what happened. I don't know what you want us players to do about it. I don't know what your goal is, these incidents have nothing to do with athletes and you continue to involve us.
Any answer I give will be used and twisted. What worries me is that there are real things happening in the world. I am a player and you are asking me things that are not within my control. If it's a provocative question, you can tell the story however you like."
Azarenka at the Australian Open 2023
Victoria Azarenka's extraordinary path at the Australian Open, ended in the semifinals.
The Belarusian player could not beat Elena Rybakina and lost with the score of (4) 6-7, 3-6. She said after the match: "It's a hard defeat to digest right now. I had many chances, not converting them was decisive. I can't say I'm proud of my game, but I'm happy to have expressed this level in a Grand Slam.
I am proud of the way I fought, but my tennis fell short in the decisive moments today. It's tough now, but in a couple of hours I'll have a different view of the month spent in Australia. I was handling her serve very well, then I just couldn't adjust. She served great."