In Spite Of Her Father

Jan 23, 2009

Last night Australia’a Jelena Dokic continued her return from the tennis wilderness, beating 11th seed Caroline Wozniacki in three sets to advance to the fourth round.

Over the years we have seen some terrible tennis dads, but there were none worse than Jelena’s father, Damir. Every summer in Australia it almost became a sport unto itself – what was Damir going to do.

I started doing a little bit of research for this post, fully intending to give the readers some insights into this troubled family, and what Jelena has been through to get here today.

And as I was looking through the stories (and there are many) I couldn’t stop laughing. Now I’ll preface this by saying the struggles Jelena has gone through are no laughing matter. She has battled severe depression, mental abuse, a harsh Australian public, a media set against her as well as inumerous cultural issues related to her Slavic upbringing, and the political tensions between various factions in that region.

That she has come through this and is now again showing the tennis ability we first saw 8 or 9 years ago is a testament to her mental fortitude.

Having said that, some of the things her Dad has said and done over the years are so far fetched, you cannot help but laugh, and shake your head in amazement – his mind is most definitely in a class of its own

So today I am going to give you…Damir’s Greatest Hits

In 2006 he threatened to kidnap his duaghter, and kill an Australian for her returning to Australia from Serbia. He also claimed that her boyfriend had kidnapped her.

He then went on to say that he wanted to drop a nuclear bomb on Australia, and accused Croatia and The Vatican for her wanting to return to Australia.

“Australia, with the help of Croatia and The Vatican have brainwashed my daughter” (That’s my personal favourite)

“Australia is a spoiled nation, they can expect my revenge”

A quote from him a couple of days ago about whether he would return to Australia to reuinite with his daughter – after her doing well in the early rounds, shows an abrupt change of heart.

“Yes, of course…I like Australia”

In 1999 he was ejected from a tournament in Birmingham after calling match officials Nazi’s, and was later arrested outside while jumping up and down on the hood of a car.

A year later he was barred from Wimbledon for another typical drunken Damir rant. I think I’m right in saying the French is the only major he hasn’t been ejected from.

Some other incidents include attacking camermen at tournaments; attacking journalists and then attempting to buy back footage of the attack from them; being booted from the U.S Open after becoming enraged in the player’s area about the price of a salmon sandwich; he once made a request of a TV network that he would allow himself to be interviewed only if the jounalist doing the interview was naked throughout.

He was also once quoted as saying he was worried his daughter would turn gay, as there were a lot of lesbians on the women’s tour. These incidents were only the public outbursts, so one can only imagine what muct have been going on behind the scenes.

Having read all of the above, you can understand why the Australian public has gotten behind Dokic in such a big way for this tournament. In her press conferences she has been very open and emotional about the battles she has faced and for her to be doing so well here is a great sign of things to come. She has always had the talent and ball striking ability to be a force in the women’s game. It would now appear that her emotional battles have hardened her will, and we may be seeing the start of a bright new future for Dokic.

Written by: Crooksy

Add Your Comments

You must Sign In to post a comment.

« Back