|Venue: Melbourne Park Dates:16-29 January|
|Coverage Commentary Every Day from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra “Tennis Breakfast” live from Melbourne. With selected text commentaries and match report on the BBC Sport app , you can find live text commentary.|
Srjdan Dajokovic will be watching his son Novak’s semi-final at the Australian Open from home. This is after he was pictured with Russian President Vladimir Putin supporters.
A 62-year old was photographed holding a Russian flag that had Putin’s face on after his son’s victory over Russian Andrey Rublev.
Novak, a nine-time champion, will face Tommy Paul in Melbourne on Friday.
Srdjan stated in a statement that she was only there to support her son.
Images of Srdjan featured another man in a T-shirt with the pro-war Z symbol printed on it. This was after Djokovic’s quarterfinal win.
The display of Russian and Belarusian symbols and flags at Melbourne Park has been banned since a Russian flag was used during the match between Ukraine’s Kateryna Bainl and Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova.
Srdjan stated that he was outside celebrating Novak’s wins with his fans, as he has done after every match with him. He also took pictures. I didn’t intend to get caught up in this.
“My family has experienced the horrors of war and we long for peace.
“So that there is no disruption [to the] semi-final for either my son or the other player, i have chosen to view from home.
“I wish for a great match, and I will cheer for my son as always. ”
After Srdjan announced that he wouldn’t be attending the semi final, Australia’s Prime minister Anthony Albanese reiterated Australia’s position on pro-Russian protests.
“I will make it clear that Australia stands by the people of Ukraine. Albanese stated that Australia supports the rule of international laws and said so at a Friday news conference.
“We don’t want any support for the Russian invasion in Ukraine.” ”
Albanese didn’t respond to a question regarding whether Srdjan should have been deported.
Tennis Australia stated in a statement that it “stands by the call for peace, an end to war, and violent conflict in Ukraine”.
The statement added, “Throughout the event, we’ve spoken to players and their teams regarding the importance of not engaging any activity that causes distress or disruption.
“We will continue to work for the safety and well-being of the fans at the event, and we reiterate our stand against flags from Belarus or Russia. ”
Ukraine’s Kostyuk is upset at Russian flags
Ukrainian player Marta Kostyuk was one of the most vocal about the war. She said that seeing Russian flags waved at Melbourne Park by Putin supporters “hurts quite a bit”.
The 20-year old said that she didn’t understand how it could be possible.
Kostyuk was a Ukrainian citizen who was born in Kyiv. This city has been the focus of Russian aggressions since February 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Russia’s actions have had a devastating effect on the Ukrainian people since the world number 61.
Kostyuk also reached the third round in singles.
“It hurts that they were here for so long. These kinds of things shouldn’t be seen. It is very disturbing. ”
Kostyuk wants Wimbledon to keep the ban on Russian and Belarusian tennis players last year.
The All England Club is yet to announce a decision regarding the Championships which will begin on 3 July.
When asked if Russian or Belarusian players should be banned from competing again she replied: “I think so. Because it is hard to imagine that a Russian or Belarusian player would win the tournament, and then the royal family must share the trophies.
“I can’t imagine it. This is why they banned them. Therefore, I believe yes. ”