A spectator of the Australian Open was seen wearing the ultranationalist «Z» war symbol of Russia on his shirt and then that same fan went for an autograph after Novak Djokovic defeated Andrey Rublev. A Serbian fan initially wore a white T-shirt that had Djokovic’s name written on it, as well as the name of Serbian basketball star Nikola Jokic.
Apparently, that fan changed his jersey in the middle of the game to a black shirt that had the word Z written on it.
ðŸ’€ And so… we believe this is the first display of the Z symbol of Russia’s war against Ukraine in the international tennis tournament.
Judging from the photos taken, that fan was approached by a tournament official regarding the jersey he was wearing.
But instead of being kicked out of Rod Laver Arena, that fan simply donned a black jacket. After beating Rublev, Djokovic approached that group of Serbian fans to give them autographs. The guy wearing the Z shirt handed Djokovic the white jersey for an autograph.
Did the guy get a warning? Did they ask you to change your shirt? Did they ask you to leave? Anyway, he put on a black jacket and went for an autograph. pic.twitter.com/RpWQxzy4qz — Ukrainian Tennis • BTU (@ukrtennis_eng) January 25, 2023
Serb supporters then uttered the ‘Serbia, Russia’ chants.
In a video posted by Tumaini Carayol, A group of Serbian supporters can be seen holding a Russian flag with Vladimir Putin’s face on it.
Too, that group of Serbian fans can be heard singing «Serbia, Russia» simultaneously.
I just took a walk in Melbourne Park after the presentation and a group of people were standing on the steps of the Rod Laver Arena, holding a flag with Vladimir Putin’s face on it and chanting in support of Russia.
After the Russian flag was displayed on the first day of the Australian Open, the tournament banned Russian flags from the venue. During the match, the Russian flag was publicly displayed on the pitch.
“The Russian and Belarusian flags are prohibited at the Australian Open. Our initial policy was that fans could bring them but they couldn’t use them to cause disruption. Yesterday we had an incident where a flag was placed on the field.
The ban is effective immediately. We will continue to work with the players and our fans to ensure the best possible environment to enjoy tennis.»
There’s been a lot of attention on a troublemaker at Rod Laver Arena tonight, except for this.
—Mike Dickson (@Mike_Dickson_DM) January 25, 2023
The Russian flag and the Z symbol have been strictly banned from the Australian Open site. But they still headed to Melbourne Park on Wednesday. Whether the Australian Open will react remains to be seen.