Victoria Azarenka snaps back at questions over Novak Djokovic’s dad: ‘You can spin the story however you want’

Shahida Jacobs
Victoria Azarenka disappointed

Victoria Azarenka was unimpressed when journalists quizzed her about the drama surrounding Novak Djokovic’s father as well as constant questions about politics.

Djokovic’s father Srdjan has been caught up in a storm at the Australian Open after he was seen posing with pro-Russian demonstrators earlier this week.

Footage that emerged on Thursday shows Djokovic senior standing next to a man holding a Russian flag with Vladimir Putin’s face on it and wearing a t-shit bearing the Z symbol that demonstrates support for the war in Ukraine.

Belarusian Azarenka has faced multiple questions about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over the past year and she was unimpressed with the latest rounds of questions following her semi-final defeat to Elena Rybakina.

When asked if players are impacted or distracted by off-court distractions, particularly Djokovic’s father, she asked: “Other players get impacted by what? What exactly are you asking me?”

The reply was: “Distractions out of their hands and the constant sort of news and talk.”

Azarenka then said: “You’re here talking about it right now, so obviously it’s a topic you want to continue to bring up and up and up again (smiling). I don’t know what you want me to say.”

Asked if she is able to distance herself from it or think about how difficult it is for Djokovic, she said: “I don’t know what it has to do with Novak at all, to be fair. I spoke to a security guard today who was walking me to practice every day, I know him for years and I just asked him what was the incident so he explained to me.

“I don’t know what you guys want us to do about it. Like talk about it? I don’t know what’s the goal here that it’s continuously brought up. These incidents that in my opinion have nothing to do with players, but somehow you keep dragging players into it.

“So what is the goal here? You should ask yourself that question, not me.

She added: “Whatever answer I am going to give to you right now is going to be turned into whatever way you want to turn it into. Does it bother me? What bothers me is there are real things going on in the world and I don’t know, are you a politician? Are you? Are you covering politics?

“I’m an athlete. You’re asking me about things that maybe somebody says are in my control, but I don’t believe that. I don’t know what you want me to answer. If it’s a provocative question, then you can spin the story however you want.”

Srdjan Djokovic issued a statement ahead of his son’s semi-final clash against Tommy Paul on Friday, stating that he was unwittingly caught up in the drama.

“I am here to support my son only. I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption,” he said before adding that he would not attend the last-four quarter-final clash against Paul.

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic’s father won’t attend semi-final after flag furore