Novak Djokovic’s dad Srdjan made the call not to be in his son’s player’s box in the Australian Open final after he caused controversy by posing with pro-war protesters at Melbourne Park.
Srdjan had seemingly unwittingly taken photos with the protesters after his son’s quarterfinal win over Andrey Rublev.
Newsagency inews.co.uk first reported the video which appears to show Srdjan telling one of the demonstrators “Long live the Russians” in a loose translation.
Those translations were corrected by Serbian journalist @ozmo_sasa who noted that Srdjan said “Živeli, ljudi”, meaning “cheers, guys”.
He released a statement before Novak’s semi-final against Tommy Paul.
“I am here to support my son only,” the statement read. “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…