Karen Khachanov accused of a 'hateful act' at Australian Open

Karen Khachanov strikes back after being accused of committing a ‘hateful act’ by writing messages of support on TV cameras at the Australian Open

  • Karen Khachanov showcased his support to people of Artsakh
  • Furious Azerbaijan Tennis Federation want 18th seed punished
  • 18th seed urged ‘his people’ to stay strong in TV camera message 

Russian tennis star Karen Khachanov has lashed out after being accused of committing a ‘hateful act’ at the Australian Open.

The 18th seed has written messages of support on TV cameras for Artsakh following his run of victories at Melbourne Park – and the Azerbaijan Tennis Federation is fuming at his conduct.

Khachanov, 26, has been expressing his well-wishes to the people of the Republic of Artsakh, who are enduring a month-long blockade carried out by Azerbaijan. 

‘I have Armenian roots from my father’s side, from my grandfather’s side, even from my mum’s side – I’m half Armenian,’ Khachanov told reporters after his quarter-final win against Sebastian Korda.

‘I just wanted to show strength and support to my people. That’s it.’

Russian tennis star Karen Khachanov has been accused of committing a ‘hateful act’ at the Australian Open

The 18th seed has written messages of support on TV cameras for the people of Artsakh as they endure a blockade enacted by Azerbaijan 

The Azerbaijan Tennis Federation slammed Khachanov’s actions and demanded action from the International Tennis Federation

The Azerbaijan Tennis Federation labelled Khachanov’s actions a ‘hateful act’ and have demanded a sanction from the International Tennis Federation.

‘Karen Khachanov…(has) attracted attention with his hateful act,’ the ATF said in a statement.

‘The Azerbaijan Tennis Federation letter presented facts and legal documents regarding the provocation against Azerbaijan.

The 18th seed said nobody has told him to stop writing the messages after the Azerbaijani protest against his actions

‘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.’

The 18th seed said he hadn’t been told not to write the messages: ‘I didn’t hear anything about that … so far, no.’ 

Khachanov next faces third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday for a spot in the men’s final.

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