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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

In Her Autobiography, Former Tennis Star Jelena Dokic Reveals Abuse By Her Father

  • IWB Post
  •  November 13, 2017


Being one of the best Tennis players from Australia, Jelena Dokic had a bright future ahead of her, however, her father never saw her as a champion. While at the time many were aware of how overbearing her father was, no one could’ve fathomed the extent the abuse she went through.

“[The beatings] happened almost on a daily basis, but I also struggled with the emotional situation,” Jelena Dokic said. “Not just the physical pain but the emotional [pain], that was the one what hurt me the most … when you are 11, 12 years old and hear all those nasty things … that was more difficult for me,” says Jelena in her recently penned autobiography.

Recently Jelena had opened up about the abuse she was subjected to that started the day she played tennis. Her father even abandoned her at Wimbledon in 2000 after her semi-final loss to Lindsay Davenport, leaving her at the courts and refusing to allow her to return to the hotel room her family was staying in.

“This was one of the hardest moments for me,” she said. “If I had to pick one this was the one. If you are made to sleep on the courts …”

Jelena Dokic

Her father was never satisfied by her achievements on the court, even though she reached world No. 4 by the age of 19.

“The better I played the worse he got. Which is the one thing I couldn’t understand,” she added.

Following allegations by her father that the draw for the 2001 Australian Open was rigged against her, she switched allegiances at her father’s insistence to represent Serbia in 2001. She returned to represent Australia in 2006.

“If I could turn back time, I would like to take back him making me switch from playing for Australia and playing for Yugoslavia … a few years later I came back and played for Australia … but so much damage was done.”

Even after all the horror she underwent because of her father, she tried to make amends with him.

“I tried to make things better [between us] but it is not an easy thing to do,” she said. “I don’t think he understands the things he has done. I don’t think he has taken the responsibility … it’s difficult to find a middle ground with him. It’s either his way or that’s it.”

Living in Serbia now, Damir Dokic did not respond to media attempts to contact him.

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