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Australian Open: Spectator Wears Pro-War “Z” Logo During Novak Djokovic Match

Geopolitics has been everywhere at the Australian Open and will be at center stage in the women’s final, which takes place on Saturday, as Elena Rybakina, a native Russian who became a citizen of Kazakhstan five years ago in exchange for financial support, and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus go head-to-head.
Sabalenka, like other Russian and Belarusian players, has not been permitted to represent her home country — part of the wrangling by professional tennis as it tries to balance its stated opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with its hopes of rising above the quagmire of international politics. Earlier this week, videos surfaced of Novak Djokovic’s father, Srdjan, posing with fans who waved a Russian flag and wore the pro-war “Z” logo, and voicing his support for Russia. The week before, organizers of the tournament had prohibited fans from exhibiting any form of the Russian or Belarusian flags or other symbols that supported Russia’s war in Ukraine. Geopolitics: The player Karen Khachanov of Russia has been writing messages of support to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, a long-disputed enclave that is home to tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians within Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders. Olympics: Athletes from Russia and Belarus will compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, against the stated wishes of Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

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