What counts Jelena Dokic on the pages of ‘The Age’ is not new. It was known in 2009 and later, with all the luxury of unpleasant details, in 2017, when he published his autobiography. A life full of darkness and panic, mainly in her childhood and adolescence, in which her father, Damir, continuously mistreated her daughter, who now became a Wimbledon semi-finalist 20 years ago.
“You are pathetic. You are a cow.” This is what Damir came up with when her daughter fell in those semifinals of 2000, before Lindsay Davenport. He even refused to let her return to his hotel. Dokic ended the day alone, crying on a couch in the players’ room, warned by tournament service personnel explaining that she couldn’t sleep there, while referee Alan Mills found a room for her in the Wimbledon Village.
“I’ve been through a lot. But there weren’t many more options. Either I got over it or I would give up. I almost killed myself at one stage. No matter how dire the situation was, with my father’s abuse, violence and intimidation, what important was that I always wanted to find a way out. I believed that there was something better, that I could find a solution. That’s why I was fighting, to have a better life someday. “
The extenista player Jelena Dokic relates, in her autobiography and in great detail, how her father Damir mistreated her throughout her childhood
As he tells in his autobiography, his father was an abuser and manipulator, whose degree of depravity only Jelena, terrified of him from the moment he could pick up a racket, could understand. At that time, she had to defend it in public or face dire consequences. As in the vast majority of abuse cases, it is difficult for the victim to find a way to free himself without fear of retaliation by the abusive figure. And this is how it happened with Dokic.
Rennae Stubbs, her Australian doubles partner, noticed some purple spots, clearly telltale of the abuse, and asked Jelena how she was doing. But she just shrugged, “I’m fine.” She knew that any other response would have meant blatant retaliation. “It is difficult for people to know what was happening in private.” Damir, among all the signs of physical and psychological abuse and submission, canceled Jelena’s credit card. “Money was the most important thing to him.”
Over the years, Dokic saw everything overflow, that the pressure had its emotional consequences. “I had fallen into a very serious depression.” Tennis was the least important, his life is suffering the consequences of everything he lived, the invoice of a process of destruction by his father, to the point that one day in 2005 he went out on the balcony of his 30-story apartment in Monte Carlo, with the intention of ending his life. Today, 15 years later, Jelena has redirected her life to quieter and brighter places, survivor of one of the hardest lives suffered by a tennis player in all history.