Djokovic’s father skips Australian Open semi-final after Russian flag controversy


The tennis great’s father said that he had decided to watch on television to avoid “disruption” for his son or his semi-finals opponent, American Tommy Paul.

“I wish for a great match and I will be cheering for my son, as always,” he said.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, had called for Srdjan Djokovic to be stripped of his accreditation.

In an interview with AFP, Myroshnychenko also called on Djokovic to personally apologise and to clarify his stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“He should apologise for what has happened, and condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” he demanded.

Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk, who lost in the women’s doubles semi-final, said that the behaviour was hurtful but was reluctant to comment on whether Djokovic’s father should be banned.

“No matter what I say, I will be hated until the rest of my life, especially by very aggressive Novak fans,” she told reporters.

Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia last year for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – the controversy overshadowing the start of the tournament.