Lucie Safarova has ended Jelena Dokic’s time in Paris, defeating her 6-2, 6-2. Dokic had been hoping to be competitive, or find her form after nearly 12 months of injury, illness, drama and poor play. The error strewn match came at the worst possible time for Dokic, who has admitted she is struggling with the mental side of the game and had hoped that a good outcome at Roland Garros would be a sign of better things to come.
More worryingly for Dokic, there appears to be more personal issues holding her back. Her coaching team had previously been her long term boyfriend and his brother, who she credits with pulling her out of years of depression, the result of years of family issues. The brothers were accused of causing an issue on a flight in Australia earlier in the year that left Dokic in tears and publicly embarrassed. When asked if her coaching situation was the same, or if something had changed, she simply responded with “I’m alone.” Not a good sign for the former top player who relied on the stability the brothers provided.
“I was nervous at the beginning, so, yeah, she got a head start. About three games through past before I could get into some rallies… Yeah, outside of top 5, this is one of the worst match ups for me at the moment because I haven’t played any matches and she’s done so well on clay this year and just in general she’s done well this year. It was always gonna be tough. She’s just more consistent than me right now… Yeah, you know, there’s nothing really to be disappointed about. You know, I’ve played four tournaments this year, and I only played, you know, 50,000 coming into the Grand Slam. So I think I’m probably one of the least prepared players in the draw at the moment. I can’t be disappointed. I just have to move on from this and go to the next tournament.” – Jelena Dokic
Jelena Dokic made her much publicised comeback to the WTA tennis circuit after battling with depression (and her father’s legacy) last year at the Australian Open. She then showed great form in the 2009 French Open, where she pushed Elena Dementieva, before being brought to tears by a back injury. She then struggled with mono, more father dramas, and most recently an injured elbow.
Dokic has looked far from her best this year but has said she hopes to use Paris as a springboard to better times. In what doesn’t sound like a good improvement in her mental state though, Dokic has said she doesn’t expect to do well. When you read what she says it just doesn’t radiate positivity and hope, all of which she will need to over come her demons and re-find her love of the game.
“Obviously coming onto Roland Garros, it is not an ideal scenario. I only played my first match back last week so it is not great but I have been working hard since then. I have done a lot of rehab and been playing well, especially the past two weeks I have been doing a lot of practice sets. Maybe things won’t go fantastically well here but hopefully I can stay healthy for the rest of the year and I can start playing well in a couple of weeks… If I play well it is a good sign for the rest of the year.”
Jelena Dokic, currently ranked 106 after a series of withdrawal with carying ailments (migraines to elbow pain), has not played since Indian Wells in March where she fell in the first round. The Australian has done reasonable job of flying under the radar of late despite her father being released from prison in Serbia in the middle of April.
Damir Dokic was released after spending almost a year in jail after threatening the Australian ambassador and being caught with significant weaponry including a rocket launcher. He has also long been accused of not only verbally assaulting Jelena numerous times, which is well known and documented, but also physically abusing her.
Dokic was originally sentenced to 15 months in prison.
Jelena remains off the circuit as she struggles with injury and some of the mental issues she displayed earlier in the year. She has also taken up training in a French academy.
The injury of Caroline Wozniacki adds to the woes of the WTA by removing another big name from the circuit. With Serena and Venus Williams being extremely picky with what they play, and letting tournaments down at the last minute with their withdrawals (Serena I’m looking at you), the WTA is being hurt by not only the injury rates but also the lack of competition. Read more
- Rafa Nadal has been declared fit, but tired, for Indian Wells.Via his Facebook page Nadal communicated with his fans, saying; “In Indian Wells since yesterday. Jet lag terrible, waking up at 6am. I am going to practice now at 8am and will send a video later.” Keep checking Nadal’s Facebook page for the video.
- Andy Roddick’s latest ad for Babolat has been released on YouTube. The video sees him being bothered by a fly and eventually killing it with his Babolat shoes because the shoes are “faster to the ball”.
- Goran Ivanisevic will continue playing the mentor role to Marin Cilic for the rest of the American Hard Court season while his normal coach takes a break.
- Australian Jelena Dokic continues to have a miserable start to the season after falling in the first round of Indian Wells 6-0, 6-3 against Vera Dushevina. Justine Henin on the other hand, blew through her first round match 6-2, 6-2 over Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova.
>Today Hit For Haiti was replayed on channel 7 to remind people to donate to assist the cause in Haiti as well as create viewing of a hilarious charity match that was previously only seen on live streaming from the Australian Open website.
The program also served as a reminder to viewers that they are able to bid on their favourite players racquets with the proceeds also going to Haiti.
As its stands the bidding is at;
Roger Federer – $14,511.11
Rafael Nadal – $5,000
Novak Djokovic – $2,201.11
Kim Clijsters – $1,500
Jelena Dokic – $721
All bids are in US dollars.
Also later today is the Women’s finals match between Justine Henin and Serena Williams. Their head to head match up stands at 7-6 in favour of Serena.
Donations can be made at www.pih.org
Other charities supported by tennis stars include; Malaria No More http://www.malarianomore.org.uk/splash (Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal, Feli Lopez, Carlos Moya), Organ Donation (Rafa Nadal), Brisbane Children’s Hospital (Kim Clijsters), support of African communities (Roger Federer) and Build African Schools http://www.buildafricanschools.org/ (Serena Williams).
Posted in Australian Open, Carlos Moya, Charity, Feliciano Lopez, Hit for Haiti, Jelena Dokic, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer
To say Jelena Dokic looked like she didn’t want to be playing in this years Australian Open is an understatement. Last years golden child of the Open had looked like an emotional mess in the weeks leading up to the tournament where she had a considerable number of points to defend, nearly half of her yearly total accumulated last year.
Jelena has had her fair share of drama with her father, Damir, never far from the tennis headlines – and not for the right reasons. With a history of abuse at his hands, Jelena looked to be overcoming her demons with her return to women’s tennis last year which was thwarted by a back injury at Roland Garros and mono after Wimbledon. More recently her boyfriend and her coach (both brothers) were involved in a mid-air incident that resulted in a discussion with the police in Melbourne.
In the post match interview Jelena looks despondent and lost saying;
“I definitely need maybe a week or 10 days just to get away from everything and be on my own somewhere where no one even knows me (or) sees me,” “In a way I’m glad. Now it’s done, I just have to move on and play now as much as I can, practice, try to do everything that I possibly can to play better.”
Not good signs.
- Rafael Nadal appears to have changed his strings to promote increase spin. You have to wonder why he needs any more spin when he already gets between 1800-4900 revolutions per minute off his forehand. Federer only gets about 2700 revolutions per minute. When you’ve had issues with injury and confidence why would you change something so important when you have a title to defend? Maybe that explains the few extra stray shots. Read more
- Maria Sharapova was matched shriek for shriek, and ultimately defeated by Maria Kirilenko 7-6, 3-6, 6-4. I bet Tiffany & Co are pissed off they spent so much money paying her to wear a pair of earrings for one day.
- Turns out when Sharapova loses the 1st set in a Grand Slam she only wins 30% of matches. However, when she wins the first set she wins 95% of matches. I guess the 66 unforced errors made life a little difficult.
- Peter Luczak came out to play Rafael Nadal on Rod Laver arena apparently the most nervous he’d ever been. He managed to stay with Rafa, and almost take the first set from Rafa (his nerves got the better of him) until the obvious happened and Rafa wore him down. A typical Nadal match – a battle of attrition… Nadal always (just about) comes out on top of that sort of match. Most players can only match his intensity for 1-2 sets.
- While on the topic of Nadal… Whoever is picking his clothes since he got rid of the bicep shirt needs to be fired. The combination of an orange, pink and white striped shirt, white shorts with a diamond pattern and a see-through, raincoat looking jacket was just shit-house, and I’m strongly pro-Nadal. Not a good look.
- Luczak seemed to question his players box a few times as to whether he should challenge a call… They really need to enforce the challenge rules and not let players slowly wander up and stare at the mark for 10 hours before they challenge.
- Andy Murray crushed Kevin Anderson. Kim Clijsters also predictably crushed her Canadian opponent.
- Jelena Dokic returned to Rod Laver Arena (where she is currently down 1-4) looking edgy and emotional. Win? Unlikely.
- Once again Australian tennis hopes rest on the shoulders of Lleyton Hewitt. Sure Bernard Tomic might get to the second round again (if his dad doesn’t have a hissy fit first), but Peter Luczak, who has played well at the Medibank International was screwed by the draw today. Luczak plays defending champion Rafael Nadal in the first round. I suspect that despite Rafa’s self proclaimed ‘mental problems’ that have been mentioned repeatedly in the press recently, Luczak will ultimately be leaving the grounds of Rod Laver Arena fairly swiftly.
- After a weepy finish in Hobart, Jelena Dokic also had a messy flight into Melbourne with her boyfriend and his brother (who act as her coaching team and escape route from her notorious father) getting into a disagreement with another passenger, ultimately leading to a discussion with police…. The girl sure does attract drama. It probably doesn’t help that if she manages to get to the second round of the Australian Open she will surely be cleaned up by Justine Henin.
- Juan Martin Del Potro and Robin Soderling have missed play due to niggling injuries in an attempt to preserve themselves for the first grand slam of the year. The fact that Hewitt is still wearing tendinitis strapping around his knee, Gael Monfils has his shoulder taped, Gilles Simon still looks hampered by his knees, and Fernando Verdasco never seemed to get around to having surgery on his foot one has to wonder if the calendar continues as is, who will be left to play from the top group. However, Rafa, Murray and Roddick seem to have recovered from their various injuries from last season – How long Rafa’s knees will survive nobody knows.
- No one’s expecting much from Sam Stosur despite her good fortune in her first round draw the same way no one’s expecting Dinara Safina to stop choking in finals any time soon.