Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Novak Djokovic appeals for calm


SERBIAN tennis ace Novak Djokovic has pleaded with fans to leave race hate at home and make the Australian Open the friendly Grand Slam event.

The world No. 3 said Serbian and Croatian players were mates off the court, and fans of any nationality should not disrupt the tournament.

"I just hope it is not going to happen," Djokovic said. "It's a very bad image they send for their countries." The popular Serb meets Croatian Ivan Dodig today on Hisense Arena.

"We are very good friends, actually, off the court, all of us Serbian and Croatian players," he said.

"We did have problems in the past, but that doesn't concern us. We are athletes. We are friends off the court. You are never going to see a problem between us."

Tennis fans are on notice to be on their best behaviour today, with police and security guards out in force.

More than 45 people were evicted on the first day of this year's tournament.

Supt Rod Wilson said anti-social behaviour would not be tolerated.

"No matter who you are or where you're from, if you behave inappropriately, you will be dealt with by police," he said. Troublemakers will face on-the-spot fines of $478 and eviction.

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