Friday, March 31, 2023

Djokovic’s father will not be in the Australian semi-finals

MELBOURNE, Australia ( Associated Press) – Novak Djokovic’s father did not attend the 21-time Grand Slam champion’s Australian Open semifinal after he got into an altercation with spectators carrying banned Russian flags at Melbourne Park, Tennis Australia said. said on Friday.

In an email sent to reporters about two and a half hours before the duel between Serb and American Tommy Paul for passage to the men’s final, organizers reported that Serjan Djokovic “has issued a statement confirming that he will not attend. “

“Throughout the tournament, we have spoken to tennis players and their teams about the importance of not engaging in any activity that causes discomfort or disruption,” Tennis Australia said.

“We will continue to make efforts to protect fans at events and reiterate our position on banning the flags of Belarus and Russia,” the group said. “Tennis Australia joins calls for peace and an end to the war and armed conflict in Ukraine.”

Following Djokovic’s quarter-final victory over Russia’s Andrey Rublev on Wednesday, Djokovic was filmed with a group of people waving Russian flags – at least one of them bearing an image of President Vladimir Putin – outside Rod Laver. sand.

Police and Tennis Australia reported that four people had been ejected from the tournament that night due to threats to banners and security guards.

On 17 January, the second day of the Major, the presence of Russian and Belarusian flags was prohibited at Melbourne Park, after being seen in the stands a few days earlier.

Flags may usually be displayed during tournament matches. But Tennis Australia scrapped that policy for both countries involved in the invasion of Ukraine that began in February last year, saying the flags were causing problems.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus were banned from the World Cup and several sporting events last year, including Wimbledon, the Billie Jean King Cup and Davis Cup tennis, because of the war in Ukraine.

Tennis players from these two countries are able to compete at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open, but as “neutrals”, so their nationalities do not appear on the calendar or official results and charts. Their flags are not included.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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