Australian Open 2023: Video of Novak Djokovic’s father Srdan with pro-Russian Vladimir Putin

Not long after police chased away a group of men carrying a banner with Vladimir Putin’s face on it, Novak Djokovic’s father was pictured with Russian nationalists at the Australian Open.

Djokovic had just secured his place in the semi-finals of the tournament straight away victory over Andrei Rublev as he chases a 10th title in Melbourne.

A video posted on YouTube late Wednesday showed Srdan posing with a man holding a Putin flag and wearing a T-shirt with the Z symbol, a symbol of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Audio from the video reportedly suggests Djokovic Sr. saying “zivejli Russiyani” as he leaves, apparently showing support for the Russian fight.

“Zivejli” is a Serbocratic word meaning “joy”, while “Russian” refers to the Russian people.

The YouTube channel translates the words as “long live Russia”.

News Corp has approached Tennis Australia for comment.

Police chased away a group of men who appeared to be flouting Australia’s tennis ban on Wednesday night. on Russian flags, sneaking it past security under cover of Serbian flags of the same color surrounding them.

Ahead of Djokovic’s quarter-final on Wednesday night, Simeon Boykov, who runs the YouTube channel where the footage was posted, called on all Russian supporters to “respond” to Tennis Australia for banning Russian emblems.

“Today, Djokovic is playing with Andrei Rublev. I hereby call or direct everyone to go down there. I can confirm that surprises await us,” said Boykov.

“Tennis Australia get ready… for the fans, for people who love tennis, if you know what I mean. I have to say so or I’ll be busted for incitement. We’ve got some serious fans in Melbourne going down.”

He added: “This is now about honor and dignity. This is an attack on honor and dignity. This has nothing to do with war. This is an attack on freedom in Australia. This is discrimination. This is racism. It is illegal to ban people’s flags.

“The Russian Empire banned its flag. Well guess what Tennis Australia? Good luck when the Empire strikes back.”

Originally published as Australian Open 2023: video surfaced with Novak Djokovic’s father, Srdan, with Russian fans

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