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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Joshua Lees

Novak Djokovic's dad hit with calls to be banned from Australian Open over Putin fan pics

Ukrainian ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko has demanded Novak Djokovic 's dad be banned from the Australian Open. This comes after Djokovic's dad Srdjan was pictured with a group of Russian Vladimir Putin supporters outside the Rod Laver Arena.

A clip posted on YouTube by 'Aussie Cossack ' showed Mr Djokovic alongside a number of Russian nationals, parading their flag - which is banned at the Grand Slam event - along with pictures of President Putin.

The father to the nine-time Australian Open champion is seen in arms with the pro-Putin group, and is alleged to have cried out 'long live Russia ' before leaving the scene.

Russian and Belarusian competitors have been allowed to enter the event in Melbourne, but have been ordered to play under a neutral flag due to the invasion on Ukraine. The Russian flag has also been banned from being shown in the stands of tournament matches.

This was however broken on Wednesday, after a group paraded the flag and the banned military 'Z' symbol in the arena during Russian national Andrey Rublev's quarter-final match with Djokovic. The Russian support then poured out into the surrounding areas of Melbourne Park, with pro-Putin and Russia chants heard outside the arena.

Pro-Putin supporters were seen at Melbourne Park (AussieCossack/Youtube)

The support and Mr Djokovic's involvement has been slammed by many including ambassador Myroshnychenko. Labelling the scenes a 'disgrace', he said: "It’s a full package. Among the Serbian flags, there is a Russian flag, Putin, Z-symbol or chanting pro-Russian songs."

The controversy has also been addressed by tournament organisers, after Tennis Australia revealed they were working with the 'law enforcement agencies' following the Putin support. The statement read: "A small group of people displayed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security guards following a match on Wednesday night and were evicted.

Vasyl Myroshnychenko labelled the Russian support a 'disgrace' (Getty Images)

"One patron is now assisting police with unrelated matters. Players and their teams have been briefed and reminded of the event policy regarding flags and symbols and to avoid any situation that has the potential to disrupt.

"We continue to work closely with event security and law enforcement agencies."

Djokovic secured a comfortable 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Rublev in Melbourne. The nine-time winner will now take on America's Tommy Paul in Friday's semi-final.

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