> Full Name: Jelena Dokic
Turned Pro: 1998
Highest Rank: 4 (Aug 2002)
Current Rank: 114
Plays: Right handed, doubled handed backhand
Career Prize Money: $4, 095, 168 USD
Jelena Dokic’s story is not a happy one. She burst onto the scene in 1999 when she defeated world number 1 Martin Hingis 6-2, 6-0 in the first round of Wimbledon before ultimately making a run to the quarterfinals. She finished the year at number 43.
She continued to claim scalps throughout 2000 and started to catch the attention of the media with her and her fathers controversial behaviour. She again played well at Wimbledon, making the semi finals before losing to Lindsay Davenport. In the same year she also made the US Open quarterfinals. In 2000 she participated in the Olympics, almost gaining a medal position until she was defeated by Monica Seles in the bronze medal match. Despite her good results in 2000, the year was also marred by bad publicity when her father, Damir Dokic, was ejected from the grounds of the US Open after he created a scene and abused staff over the cost of food.
Controversy continued to swarm around Dokic as her father encouraged her to default from Australia and play for Yugoslavia. The Australian crowd were not impressed when she returned to the Australian Open in 2001. Damir was again ejected after he claimed that Jelena’s draw was rigged after she lost in the first round. At the time Damir shared his tirade with the media. “Australia with the help of Croatia and the Vatican have brainwashed my daughter. I have thought about dropping a nuclear bomb on Sydney since Jelena lost in the first round this week, for which Australia is to blame. I have even thought about killing an Australian in revenge, but I wouldn’t gain anything from it.”
She claimed her first singles later that year at the Rome Masters and reached the finals of the ladies doubles at the French Open. She continued to maintain her form throughout the course of the year reaching numerous finals.
After some early injury issues in 2002 she made the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, finals in San Diego and semis in Montreal, reaching a career high ranking of 4 after the US Open.
2003 was a huge year for Dokic as she seemed to try and escape the grasp of her father, hiring Borna Bikic as her coach. Damir abused her and then boyfriend Enrique Bernoldi in the media as she struggled with her confidence. While she had some good results they were few and far between and essentially 2003 was the beginning of Jelena’s decline and struggle with depression.
After going MIA for a few months in 2005 she continued to struggle with her confidence as her father told media she had been kidnapped by Tin Bikic and that he planned to kidnap her also.
In 2008 she played a few ITF tournaments with mostly disappointing results.
A wildcard into the 2009 Australian Open seemed to be the turning point for Jelena as she captivated the nation as she battled int toe quarterfinals exhausted with a rolled ankle. At the time she credited the Bikic boys with pulling her out of the depths of depression and saving her from her abusive father. At the time she seemed to be pulling everything together, signing a million dollar Jet Star contract and seemingly flourishing from the emotional release from her Australian Open run.
She continued her form into the 2009 French Open where she was leading Elena Dementieva 6-2, 4-3 when she was crippled to tears by an acute back injury. She was then diagnosed with glandular fever (mono) and struggled to string consecutive wins together.
While Australia was hoping for a re-run at the Open it was not to be. Instead 2010 has thus far been another year of emotional turmoil with breakdowns on and off the court. The Bikic brothers were questions by police after a mid air incident on a flight just prior to the Australian Open. More tabloid abuse from Damir followed before he was arrested for threatening the Australian Ambassador to Serbia after multiple weapons were found in his home.
Dokic has recently been playing ITF events in an attempt to regain some confidence. She has posted some good results lately and will hopefully start next year on a more positive note.