March 26, 2023

Novak Djokovic’s father did not attend at the start of the Australian Open final which opposes his son on Sunday to the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, after a controversy born of images on which we saw him posing with pro-Russian supporters outside the stadium in Melbourne.

Srdjan Djokovic, already absent in Friday’s semi-final, was not seated in the stands with his son’s coaching staff, the seat he usually occupies alongside his wife Dijana remaining empty.

A video posted on a pro-Russian Australian YouTube account on Thursday showed Srdjan Djokovic posing outside the stadium with a man holding a Russian flag bearing the likeness of President Vladimir Putin. The video was captioned: “Novak Djokovic’s father makes bold political statement.” The Ukrainian ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, then asked that Srdjan Djokovic’s accreditation be withdrawn.

Faced with the controversy, Srdjan Djokovic had not attended his son’s victory in the semi-final against Tommy Paul so as not to “cause disturbances”, declaring in a press release that he only wanted “peace”. Novak Djokovic, “affected” by this controversy, had hoped that his father could attend the final on Sunday.

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