Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostyuk admitted it was upsetting to see Novak Djokovic’s father posing alongside pro-Russian supporters but refused to say anything negative about Djokovic or his father because the Serb “has very aggressive fans.” After Djokovic defeated Andrey Rublev in the Australian Open quarterfinal, his father Srdjan was filmed posing alongside a man wearing Russia’s ultra-nationalist “Z” war symbol on his shirt and holding a Russian flag with Vladimir Putin’s face.
“That’s a lot of responsibility on me. I don’t know what the rules are, I don’t know what the tournament is allowed to do, but this kind of thing can’t be left unseen. It doesn’t matter who you are, nobody is allowed to do it.
It’s very upsetting. No matter what I say I will be hated until the rest of my life, especially by very aggressive Novak fans. People know that a lot of — not everyone — but Novak has very aggressive fans because I know this and I have experienced this in the past,” Kostyuk said, per AFP.
Kostyuk ‘hurted’ by those scenes
At the start of the Australian Open, a group of Russian fans decided to bring the Russian flag to Melbourne Park. Shortly after, Tennis Australia reacted and banned the Russian flag from site.
“It hurts a lot because there were specific rules, they were printed out outside that this is not allowed to bring flags and so on. Really hurts that they were out there for some time, they were on the court, in the stands as well.
I don’t know, I just don’t understand, it really hurts and I don’t understand how this can be possible,” Kostyuk added. Meanwhile, Kostyuk exited the Australian Open singles event in the third round following a defeat to Jessica Pegula.
In the doubles event, Kostyuk had more success as she and Elena Ruse made the semifinal before losing to Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
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