Skip to main content

Djokovic's father skips Melbourne after flag controversy

(ANSA-AFP) - MELBOURNE, JAN 27 - Tennis ace Novak Djokovic's father said he will stay away from his son's Australian Open semi-final Friday, insisting he "wishes only for peace" after being filmed with fans holding Russian flags. "I am here to support my son only. I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption," Srdjan Djokovic said in a statement after the images led to calls for him to be banned from the tournament. "My family has lived through the horror of war and we wish only for peace," he said. Srdjan Djokovic made no mention of whether he would attend the Grand Slam final on Sunday if his son won Friday's match. A video posted to a pro-Russian Australian YouTube account on Thursday showed Djokovic's father posing with a man holding a Russian flag with Vladimir Putin's face on it. The video was captioned: "Novak Djokovic's father makes bold political statement." Another man was photographed by AFP inside the stadium during Djokovic's match with a T-shirt bearing the Russian pro-war "Z" symbol. Srdjan Djokovic said he was outside with his son's fans "as I have done after all of my son's matches to celebrate his wins and take pictures with them". "I had no intention of being caught up in this." (ANSA-AFP).