|Venue: Melbourne Park Dates:16-29 January|
|Protection: Commentary day-after-day from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 Sports activities Additional ‘Tennis Breakfast’ dwell from Melbourne, with chosen dwell textual content commentaries and match stories on the BBC Sport web site & app|
Srdjan Djokovic watched his son Novak’s Australian Open semi-final from house to keep away from inflicting “disruption” after being pictured with supporters of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The 62-year-old was photographed with a person holding a Russian flag with Putin’s face on it after his son’s win over Russia’s Andrey Rublev on Wednesday.
9-time champion Novak beat American Tommy Paul 7-5 6-1 6-2 on Friday.
“I’m right here to assist my son solely,” Srdjan mentioned in an announcement.
The pictures of Srdjan additionally featured a person sporting a T-shirt printed with the pro-war Z image following Djokovic’s quarter-final victory.
One other man was pictured within the stands sporting an identical T-shirt on Wednesday. He additionally attended Friday’s match sporting a special shirt.
It’s understood police spoke to the person on Wednesday however accepted the Z on his shirt was a reference to his title and never the Russian conflict.
Russian and Belarusian flags and symbols have been banned at Melbourne Park since a Russian flag was displayed throughout a match between Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl and Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova on the opening day.
Srdjan mentioned: “I used to be outdoors with Novak’s followers as I’ve achieved in spite of everything of my son’s matches to have a good time his wins and take footage with them. I had no intention of being caught up on this.
“My household has lived by means of the horror of conflict, and we want just for peace.
“So there is no such thing as a disruption to [the] semi-final for my son or for the opposite participant, I’ve chosen to observe from house.
“I want for an awesome match and I will probably be cheering for my son, as at all times.”
Earlier than Srdjan confirmed he wouldn’t be attending the semi-final, Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese reiterated the nation’s stance on pro-Russian protests.
“I’ll make this level, that Australia stands with the folks of Ukraine. That’s Australia’s place and Australia is unequivocal in our assist for the rule of worldwide legislation,” Albanese mentioned at a information convention on Friday.
“We don’t need to see any assist given to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
Albanese didn’t reply on to a query about whether or not Srdjan ought to be deported.
Tennis Australia mentioned in an announcement it “stands with the decision for peace and an finish to conflict and violent battle in Ukraine”.
It added: “All through the occasion we have spoken with gamers and their groups concerning the significance of not partaking in any exercise that causes misery or disruption.
“We are going to proceed to try for the protection of followers on the occasion and reiterate our place banning flags from Belarus and Russia.”
Ukraine’s Kostyuk upset by seeing Russia flags
Ukrainian participant Marta Kostyuk has been one of the crucial vocal in talking out concerning the conflict and he or she mentioned seeing Russian flags being waved by supporters of Putin at Melbourne Park “hurts rather a lot”.
“I do not perceive how this may be doable,” added the 20-year-old, who was crushed within the ladies’s doubles semi-finals on Friday.
Kostyuk was born in Ukrainian capital Kyiv, which has been a focus of Russian assaults because the nation invaded its neighbour in February 2022.
The world quantity 61 has usually highlighted the devastating influence on Ukrainians brought on by Russia’s actions.
“It hurts rather a lot as a result of there have been particular guidelines; you are not allowed to herald the flags,” mentioned Kostyuk, who additionally reached the third spherical of the singles.
“It actually hurts that they have been there for fairly a while. These sort of issues shouldn’t be seen. It’s extremely upsetting.”
Kostyuk additionally needs the ban imposed by Wimbledon final yr on Russian and Belarusian gamers to stay in place this yr.
The All England Membership has but to announce a call for the Championships, which start on 3 July.
Requested if Russian and Belarusian gamers ought to be stopped from competing once more, she mentioned: “I feel sure. As a result of I can not think about if somebody Russian or Belarusian wins the event after which royal household has to carry the trophies with them.
“I hardly think about this. This is without doubt one of the massive causes they really banned them. So I feel sure.”