The Azerbaijan Tennis Federation has sent a memo to the International Tennis Federation demanding action against Australian Open semi-finalist Karen Khachanov.
Khachanov progressed to the final four of the men’s draw with a walkover victory against Sebastian Korda on Tuesday.
Khachanov represents Russia on tour, but also represents his Armenian roots, and has used his Open run to send support to Artsakh amid the ongoing Azerbaijani blockade.
LIVE UPDATES: Australian Open 2023 day nine highlights
READ MORE: Icy Demon answer unveils sneaky Novak ploy
READ MORE: ‘Friend’s’ abhorrent $1.77m Schumacher move
After his second-round victory he wrote on the camera, « Keep believing all the way until the end! Artsakh stay strong! ».
He later explained the reason behind the writing.
« I have said many times that I respect and appreciate my [Armenian] roots. I am a citizen of Russia, I represent Russia, but I have Armenian blood from my father’s and mother’s side, » Khachanov said.
Watch the Australian Open live and free on the Nine Network: Channel 9, 9Gem and 9NOW
« I want to support them in any way, to give [them] faith and strength. »
The Azerbaijan Tennis Federation wants the player sanctioned over the comments.
« Karen Khachanov… attracted attention with his hateful act, » a statement read.
Match Highlights: Karen Khachanov v Sebastian Korda
« The Azerbaijan Tennis Federation letter presented facts and legal documents regarding the provocation against Azerbaijan.
« The ATF condemned this act and demanded the tennis player be punished and urged the (ITF) to take harsh measures for prevention of such incidents in the future. »
After his quarter-final win over Korda, Khachanov was asked specifically about the ATF’s letter.
« I didn’t hear anything about that, » he responded.
Khachanov said he has not been told to stop writing anything on the cameras after his matches.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!