Novak Djokovics father has said he "wishes only for peace" after he was filmed posing with fans brandishing pro-Russian flags at the Australian Open following his son’s quarter-final victory on Wednesday.

 “I am here to support my son only. I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption,” Srdjan Djokovic said in a statement.

 The tennis star’s father caused outrage earlier this week when a video was posted to a pro-Russian Australian YouTube account showing him posing with a man holding a Russian flag with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s face on it.

 It was captioned: “Novak Djokovic’s father makes bold political statement.”

 Serbian tennis reporters confirmed it was Djokovic’s father and the Melbourne Age newspaper reported he said in Serbian: “Long live the Russians.”


 Srdjan added in his statement: “I was outside with Novaks fans as I have done after all of my sons matches to celebrate his wins and take pictures with them.

 “I had no intention of being caught up in this. My family has lived through the horror of war, and we wish only for peace.”

 He also said he would not attend his sons Australian Open semi-final match on Friday, in which Djokovic beat Tommy Paul to seal a place in Sunday's final, an event he has already won nine times.

 Tennis Australia has been heavily criticized due to the fact fans had the opportunity to shout pro-Russian songs and openly express their support for the war in Ukraine.

 After the events of Wednesday night, we acted swiftly to work with police and our security teams to have the instigators of the protest removed from the venue,” Tennis Australia said in a statement.

 “We will continue to strive for the safety of fans at the event and reiterate our position banning flags from Belarus and Russia. Tennis Australia stands with the call for peace and an end to war and violent conflict in Ukraine”.



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