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Novak Djokovic’s father says he won’t attend Australian Open semi-final | Novak Djokovic

Srdjan Djokovic, Novak Djokovic’s father, said he would not be attending his son’s Australian Open semi-final match against Tommy Paul on Friday night and had “no intention of being taken by surprise” by being filmed with pro-Vladimir. Viewers of Putin on Wednesday evening.

“I am only here to support my son,” he said in a statement. “It was not my intention to cause such headlines or disruption.”

Following Novak Djokovic’s quarter-final victory over Andrey Rublev of Russia, Djokovic’s father was filmed talking to Putin supporters gathered outside the Rod Laver Arena. Djokovic Sr. posed for a photo with an onlooker, who was wearing a ‘Z’ T-shirt and holding a Russian flag with a large photo of Vladimir Putin’s face.

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“I was outside with Novak’s fans, as I did after all my son’s matches, to celebrate his victories and take pictures with them. I didn’t mean to get involved in this,” he said. “My family survived the horror of war, and we only want peace.”

Along with his wife Dijana, Srdjan Djokovic attended his son’s matches throughout the week, but said he would watch from home as Novak struggled to reach his 10th Australian Open final.

“So today’s semi-finals will not interfere with either my son or another player that I decided to watch from home. I wish you a great match and, as always, I will be rooting for my son,” he said in a statement.

Shortly after he left the arena on Wednesday, police questioned four spectators who allegedly threatened security. Spectators were eventually ejected from the stadium, but Tennis Australia were criticized for security protocols that allowed them to yell pro-Putin chants in the stadium.

Tennis Australia defended its actions in a statement Friday afternoon.

“Following the events on Wednesday evening, we acted swiftly to work with the police and our security services to remove the instigators of the protest from the venue,” the statement said. “Throughout the event, we spoke to players and their teams about the importance of refraining from any activity that causes stress or disruption.

“Mr Srdjan Djokovic has released a statement confirming that he will not be attending today’s semi-final. We will continue to fight for the safety of fans at the event and reaffirm our position on the ban of the flags of Belarus and Russia. Tennis Australia supports the call for peace and an end to war and violent conflict in Ukraine.”

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