Srdjan Doković (top row left) will be watching his son Novak's semifinals from a longer distance
Photo: LOREN ELLIOTT / REUTERS
Novak Djoković's father has expressed regret over the incident involving a pro-Russian crowd at the Australian Open and decided not to attend his son's semi-final match on Friday.
“I'm here to support my son.
I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption," Srdjan Djokovic said, according to a statement for media outlets including Australian newspaper The Age.
"So that the semifinals tonight are not disturbed either for my son or for the other player, I decided to watch it at home," said the father of the Serbian tennis star, who played in the duel against the American Tommy Paul (9.30 a.m., Eurosport ) wants to make the final perfect.
Video with Putin supporters
A video of Srdjan Djokovic posing with others behind a Russian flag with a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Melbourne Park caused a stir online on Thursday.
Next to him is a man wearing a T-shirt with the 'Z' sign on it, which is believed to be a symbol of support for Russia, including the invasion of Ukraine.
The video was published on a YouTube channel and is said to have been taken after Djokovic's quarter-final win over Russia's Andrei Rublev on Wednesday.
"I had no intention of getting involved in this," Srdjan Djokovic said of the incident.
He just wanted to celebrate with the fans and take pictures.
He stressed that he "wished only for peace" since his family had also experienced "the horrors of war."
After the incident, the organizers of the Australian Open once again warned the players and their teams that certain flags and symbols should be banned.
But there were also voices calling for a tournament ban for Srdjan Djoković.