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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Excitement at the Australian Open: Djokovic’s father posed with Putin supporters

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Next to him is a man wearing a T-shirt with the “Z” character on it. The video was published on a Youtube channel and also shared and commented on other social media. It is said to have been recorded after Djokovic won the quarter-final match against the Russian Andrei Rublev on Wednesday evening.

“Players and their teams have been briefed on the event guidelines regarding flags and symbols and have been reminded to avoid any situation that has the potential for disruption,” Tennis Australia said in a statement on Thursday.

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After the match, four spectators were interrogated by the Australian police because they were said to have “displayed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security personnel”, the organizer said. Twitter posts show several spectators waving Russian and Serbian flags after the match, as well as “Serbia! Russia!” shouted.

Vasyl Miroshnychenko, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Australia, tweeted: “It’s such a shame.” Shortly after the tournament started, Russian and Belarusian flags were banned from Melbourne Park.

During the match, a fan in a T-shirt with a white “Z” written on it also showed up in the stands. The “Z” symbol is considered a sign of support for Russia, including the invasion of Ukraine. The “Z” is often seen on Russian military gear and clothing, and is also banned at the Australian Open.

Unlike Wimbledon, Russian and Belarusian tennis players are allowed to start under a neutral flag in Melbourne. Aryna Sabalenka and Viktoria Azarenka of Belarus competed in their semi-final matches on Thursday (today), as did Moscow-born but now representing Kazakhstan Wimbledon winner Yelena Rybakina. For men, Russian Karen Khachanov will meet Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in the round of the top four players on Friday.

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Source: Nachrichten

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