Ukraine star Kostyuk’s ‘mind blown’ after Djokovic Russia controversy

Novak Djokovic jokes about his age at the Australian Open

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Ukraine tennis player Marta Kostyuk has been left stunned by Novak Djokovic’s father posing in a pro-Russia video. Footage emerged in the early hours of Thursday morning showing Srdjan taking pictures with a group, one of which was holding a Russia flag. They also wore a t-shirt printed with the pro-war Z symbol.

The video involving Djokovic’s father went viral during the early hours on Thursday morning after the player’s stirring win over Russian Andrey Rublev.

Srdjan was seen with a man who was holding a Russian flag which also had the face of Vladimir Putin on it.

The same man holding the flag was also wearing a pro-war t-shirt, one which Australian Open chiefs have banned from the tournament this year.

And Ukraine tennis player Kostyuk, taking to social media, has been left stunned by the incident.

She posted a tweet full of ‘mind blown’ emojis, showing her contempt for the way Srdjan has supported Russia at a time when war continues to devastate her homeland.

Tennis Australia have reacted to the incident, saying in a statement: “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 and to avoid any situation that has the potential to disrupt.

“We continue to work closely with event security and law enforcement agencies.”

Last year, due to the invasion of Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian players were banned at Wimbledon.

Thursday’s women’s semi-finals in Melbourne feature two Belarusian players in Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka who, if they win their respective matches, could lock horns in the final.

On the men’s side, Russian star Karen Khachanov faces off against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last four.

All three players are competing under a neutral flag, rather than the Russian one.

As for Djokovic, the former world No 1 will go up against Tommy Paul on Friday with a place in the Australian Open final at stake.

It will be the first meeting between the pair.

And Djokovic opened up on his hamstring injury following his win over Rublev on Wednesday, admitting he was using machines to help him keep going.

“I’ve been connected to machines more than I have been connected to anybody else or my bed or anything else,” he said.

“In my days off, I’ve tried about any bio-feedback machine there is on this planet in order to get my leg ready and it worked.

“I’m gonna keep going. I miss tennis on the days off but at the same time I think it’s important to be smart and wise with the body and these particular circumstances where it’s more important to recover and get ready for the next challenge.”

Djokovic is looking to win the Australian Open for the 10th time this week.

His first triumph came all the way back in 2008 when he beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.

And another win Down Under would see him draw level with Rafael Nadal on 22 Grand Slam titles.

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