The issue involving the controversial ‘Z’ symbol during the Australian Open has blown out of proportion. With the appearance of the symbol and the Russian fans chanting slogans at Rod Laver Arena, Novak Djokovic and his father are at the center of controversy Down Under.
Djokovic never had a busy Grand Slam as the 2023 edition of the Australian Open. The 35-year-old is being tested both mentally and physically in the last few days. On the court, he is fighting with a hamstring injury and off-court he is busy with the perception battle. He is clearly winning the first one but the latter is dragging him down.
Despite the security measures and restrictions put up by the organization, the Russian supporters have made their way to an international tennis tournament. Djokovic and his family have been warned about the same but the Serb is still caught with widespread backlash in Australia. The Ukrainian Ambassador also joined in the criticism. But unfortunately, that’s not all.
Australian Open releases advisory, Alex Dolgopolov demands a ban on Novak Djokovic
The players were briefed by the organizers after Novak Djokovic’s father was videoed with pro-Russia protestors. “A small group of people displayed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security guards following a match on Wednesday night and were evicted. 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 to avoid any situation that has the potential to disrupt. We continue to work closely with event security and law enforcement agencies,” the statement of tennis Australia read.
The word ‘ban’ is chasing Novak Djokovic like a ghost. Alex Dolgopolov, former Ukrainian pro has now demanded a ban on the Serb because of the latest controversy. “This guy will get banned for life, at least for all Australian events, right? @AustralianOpen,” he posted on Twitter.
When the dust around the off-court drama settles Novak Djokovic will be remembered for his tennis exploits the most. The nine-time Australian Open champion is well aware of that. He is focused on his quest for a record-extending tenth title Down Under and is doing everything to not let a forgettable issue cloud his time in Australia. The way he has handled all the negativities around him is definitely a trademark of a legend.
Abhinavendu Singh is a Tennis Writer at FirstSportz. He has been following this sport since childhood and is a diehard 'Fedal' fan. Though drawn to the sport since 2004, it was Rafael Nadal's win over Swiss maestro Roger Federer in the 2006 French Open final that made him fall in love with the sport. Originally a Nadal supporter, he became a 'Fedal' fanatic after the duo produced a historic game for the ages at 2008 Wimbledon final. An engineer by training, whenever he is not watching tennis or writing about it Abhinavendu is either busy watching crime thrillers, experimenting with ingredients in kitchen or reading non-fiction books.
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