Azerbaijan Tennis Federation condemn and demand action against Khachanov amid messages of 'provocation'

The tennis federation of Azerbaijan demandes action against Karen Khachanov for what they consider a 'provocation' due to Khachanov showing support to a region of the country that has independence ambitions.

Karen Khachanov is part Armenian with his father being born and raised in his country. While he represents his country of birth - Russia, Khachanov has always spoken fondly about his Armenian heritage and continues to do so. During his Australian Open run, he sent messages of support to Artsakh, a region of Azerbaijan that has an Armenian majority.

It's also been a subject of conflict between the countries of Armenia and Azerbaijan due to the region's secessionist ambitions against international law. According to international law, the region belongs to and is recognised as part of Azerbaijan. The country's tennis federation is now seeking action against Khachanvo for what they see 'provocation'.

Khachanov was aked about it after the win over Korda and he brifly commented:

“I have Armenian roots. From my father’s side, from my grandfather’s side, even from my mom’s side. I’m half Armenian. To be honest, I don’t want to go deeper than that, and I just wanted to show strength and support to my people. That’s it.”

The ATF released a statement:

“Although it has become customary for tennis players to write their heartfelt words about the joy of victory on the camera lens, Khachanov used it to implement his cunning plan. The Azerbaijan Tennis Federation sent a protest letter to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) considering that this provocation is unacceptable. In the letter, the facts and legal documents related to the provocation directed against our country were presented. The Azerbaijan Tennis Federation condemns this incident, and in order to prevent such a situation from happening again, it has been requested to punish the tennis player and to take stricter measures to prevent such incidents in the future. We hope that the matter will be resolved objectively soon.”

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ATP Karen Khachanov

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