Srdjan Djokovic, nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic's father, will stay away from the Rod Laver Arena for his son's semi-final clash against Tommy Paul. The 62-year-old was embroiled in a controversy involving pro-Vladimir Putin fans after his son's win over Andrey Rublev on Wednesday.

As is customary, Srdjan was posing with Djokovic's fans outside Rod Laver Arena. At the same time, there were a number of Russian fans outside brandishing their nation's flags with Vladimir Putin's face emblazoned on them, which are banned.

Victoria Police stopped the slogan chanting and evicted four men, but before that, the world number one's father was seen posing with them for pictures. A video posted by Aussie Cosack, a Putin supporter, showed Srdjan standing alongside a Russian with a flag bearing Putin's face.

Ukraine's ambassador to Australia called for Djokovic's father to be banned from Rod Laver Arena. Even Tennis Australia, in their latest statement, again warned players and their teams to stay away from getting involved with events that went against the tournament's regulations.

Djokovic faces American Paul in the semifinals as he targets a 10th Australian Open crown. In order to avoid further controversy and distraction for his son, Srdjan has decided to watch the match from the comfort of his home in Melbourne while also making it clear that the family wishes for peace.

"I am here to support my son only. I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption," Srdjan Djokovic said. "I was outside with Novak's fans as I have done after all of my son's matches to celebrate his wins and take pictures with them. I had no intention of being caught up in this."

Novak Djokovic
The parents of Serbia's Novak Djokovic, father Srdjan Djokovic (L) and mother Dijana Djokovic at the Australian Open AFP / DAVID GRAY

"My family has lived through the horror of war, and we wish only for peace," he added. "So there is no disruption to tonight's semi-final for my son or for the other player, I have chosen to watch from home."

The 21-time men's singles Grand Slam champion, who has never lost a final in Melbourne Park, remains the favourite. The winner of the second semi-final will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Championship match after the Greek star overcame Russian Karen Khachanov in four sets.

Novak Djokovic
Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts as he competes against Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov at the 2023 Australian Open AFP / Martin KEEP