Srdjan Djokovic

Srdjan Djokovic causes controversy at Australian Open

Srdjan Djokovic, the father of Novak Djokovic, has been discredited during the Australian Open. The Serbian tennis player’s father posed with fans of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Four men were evicted from Melbourne Park by Victoria police on Wednesday night after singing pro-Russian and pro-Putin chants on the steps of the Rod Laver Arena while waving Russian flags. One of them also wore a shirt with the letter Z, the symbol of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One of the flags also featured Putin’s face.

Srdjan Djokovic outside Rol Laver Arena

Srdjan Djokovic met the fans outside the Rod Laver Arena and took pictures with them, according to a video. The police confirmed the incident. “Police removed four men after a Russian flag was hoisted on the steps of the tennis court at around 10:20 pm on Wednesday, January 25,” the statement read. Social media reacted with horror to the images. Vasyl Myroshnychenko, the Ukrainian ambassador to Australia, called it a disgrace. “It’s the whole package: in addition to the Serbian flag, there is a Russian flag, a Putin flag and the Z symbol,” he wrote on Twitter. Ukrainian tennis players Alex Dolgopolov and Marta Kostyuk also made themselves heard. This man will be suspended for life. At least for all Australian tennis tournaments, right?” Dolgopolov wrote about the man seen with the Z symbol.


The organization of the Australian Open issued a statement and warned players: ,,A small group of people displayed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened guards after a match on Wednesday evening. These people have been removed. Players and their teams have been briefed and reminded again of the event policy regarding flags and symbols to avoid any situation that has the potential to disrupt the order. We will continue to work closely with event security and enforcement authorities.”

Russian Flags

Russian flags have already been seen during the Australian Open during the first round match between Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl and Russia’s Kamilla Rachimova. The organization intervened in response to this and came up with a ban on Russian (and Belarusian) flags at Melbourne Park. Russian athletes have faced sanctions since the invasion of Ukraine. For example, Russian tennis players were banned from participating in Wimbledon last year. They are welcome at the Australian Open, but under a neutral flag.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.