Novak Djokovic father Srdjan misses Australian Open semifinals after video backlash in Russia

Novak Djokovic’s father Srdjan has responded to criticism of a video showing him with Putin supporters and will not be present for his son’s Australian Open semi-final at Melbourne Park. READ HIS FULL STATEMENT.

Novak Djokovic’s father Srdjan says he will avoid tonight’s Australian Open semifinals after publicly apologizing for his association with Russian fans following a quarterfinal win on Wednesday night.

The father released a statement on Friday afternoon apologizing for his actions in which he was caught on video with pro-Putin supporters outside Melbourne Park and saying his family only supports peace, not war.

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

“I was out with Novak’s fans like I used to after all my son’s games to celebrate his wins and take photos with them. I had no intention of getting involved.

“My family has lived through the horrors of war and all we want is peace.

“Today’s semi-final will not be disturbed for my son or the other player, I have chosen to watch from home.

“I wish you a great game and will cheer for my son as always.”

After much pressure, including an outcry from Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Tennis Australia finally issued its own statement condemning the war in Ukraine and confirming that Djokovic Snr would not play in Friday night’s semifinals.

“Following the events of Wednesday night, we acted quickly to work with the police and our security teams to remove those who instigated the protest from the venue,” it said.

“Throughout the event we spoke to players and their teams about the importance of not engaging in activities that cause stress or disruption.

“Mr Srdjan Djokovic has issued a statement confirming he will not be taking part in today’s semifinals.

“We will continue to work to ensure the safety of fans at the event and reaffirm our position to ban flags from Belarus and Russia.

“Tennis Australia stands by the call for peace and an end to the war and violent conflict in Ukraine.”

Originally released as Novak Djokovic father Srdjan to miss Australian Open semi-final after video backlash in Russia Novak Djokovic father Srdjan misses Australian Open semifinals after video backlash in Russia

Ryan Sederquist

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