Srdjan Djokovic, father of Novak Djokovic caused controversy after posing for photos with Russian fans who support the war with Ukraine. Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley spoke about Srdjan's absence from the Australian Open semi-final.
It was rumored about a possible sanction, but Tiley assured: “It’s his decision,”.
"We’re going to let it be his decision and ultimately he’s got to make the call. He didn’t breach any event policy."
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Tiley also said that Srdjan didn’t act intentionally, and that he didn’t seek to harm anyone.
“That’s really important because what’s been written about what he (allegedly) said hasn’t been correct and I think people are back-tracking from that. That’s unfortunate that massive assumptions were made."
“I know him personally and his family was devastated by what happened," Tiley said. "It was not intentional and I agree with him and it was not designed to cause harm to anyone. It was an unfortunate situation and the Serbian fans have been great. Every day they’ve been very active and noisy and boisterous and that adds to the whole colour of the event."
The CEO told the Australian Associated Press that he considers the events that generated criticism as "unfortunate", and assured that these are small groups and that they aren’t welcome at the Melbourne Park:
“Ideally he didn’t get caught up in that but, in that moment, you don’t know and that’s unfortunate that that happened because we’re a platform, we’re a global platform, and any little thing like that starts to take on a life of its own, which it didn’t need to."
“Then you’ve got two or three or, in this case, four individuals that ruined it and they got evicted and are not welcome back,"
Djokovic's father also made a statement explaining the situation:
"I am here to support my son only. I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption. I was outside with Novak's fans as I have done after all of my son's matches to celebrate his wins and take pictures with them," Srdjan said.