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Australian Open: ‘Hopefully he’ll be there in the final’, Djokovic defends his father

In the middle of the Rod Laver Arena, after a semi-final quick win over Tommy Paul, Novak Djokovic told Master of Ceremonies Jim Courier what it was like to find your way to the final fifteen years after his first Grand Slam title in Melbourne against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

“I feel blessed and grateful,” smiled the Serb, who will face Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday, setting himself a triple challenge of 10th in Australia, 22nd in the Major and first in the world. I especially thank my family, without whom none of this would have been possible. Tennis is an individual sport where you take full responsibility and respect on the court, but it’s also a team in good times and bad and that’s their success as much as mine. »

However, sometimes it happens that a team scores against their camp. Like Srdjan, the clumsy Belgrade father who had to watch his son’s qualifications… on TV. The seething father, who found himself at the center of a beautiful controversy after his speech with pro-Russian fans, did issue a press release before the match to refuse to visit the stadium and reduce tensions.

And that’s a good thing, because the organizers, who would have done just fine without the public wearing sulphurous Z T-shirts and singing to Putin’s praise in their enclosure, seemed inclined to withdraw his accreditation. While Djokovic was hardly bothered by winning his 27th consecutive Australian Open game, he says he is saddened by all the confusion.

“It was frustrating that he wasn’t in the box during the semi-finals,” he explains. I hope he will be there in the final. It is unfortunate that a misinterpretation has reached this point. My father, as he explained, after each of my matches went out to meet with my fans to thank them and take pictures (…) But it all started with a bad translation in some media of his words. »

The Serb was quick to clarify that his father “did not in any way intend to support any war. He also repeated the statement verbatim: “Our family survived the horrors of war, and all we want is peace. The former and possibly future No. 1 for life was marked by the conflict in Serbia and the NATO bombing of Belgrade in 1999, when he was twelve years old.

Source: Le Parisien

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