Jelena Dokic Tour Results: Interviews and Articles

"Fresh start for Jelena at Canberra"
Tennis Australia
30th November, 2005
Tennis Australia - News

Fresh start for Jelena at Canberra
30 November 2005

Jelena Dokic will make her competitive return to Australian tennis at the Richard Luton Properties Canberra International in January 2006.

The former top five player, who represented Australia in the Olympics, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup, will return to Australia for the first time since 2001 when her father took the family overseas in a highly publicised departure.

[photo] Jelena Dokic begins her return to Australian tennis with the Richard Luton Properties Canberra International.

Still only 22 years old, Jelena has been granted a wildcard to compete in the Canberra tournament following a two-year period of changes in her personal life which has seen her ranking freefall from a career high of world No.4 in August 2002 to its current mark of 349.

"Jelena is a player with huge potential and will be a real drawcard for this tournament," said Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood. "Tennis Australia has always said that the door was open for Jelena when she felt able to return to Australia and that time has come.

"She is now in a position to make her own decisions in life and we are happy to help her make that fresh start."

[photo] Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood speaks at today's launch of the Richard Luton Properties Canberra International.

Jelena was among a number of quality players announced at the launch of the 2006 Richard Luton Properties Canberra International in Canberra today, which was attended by the ACT Minister for Sport, Ted Quinlan.

Among the other major announcements unveiled by Steve Wood to assist the growth of the tournament over the next few years today were:

* RICHARD LUTON PROPERTIES re-signing as the naming rights sponsor for the 2006 event;

* The Introduction of three night sessions, including a Night Final on Friday 13th January;

* A new Kids Day with free entry to children aged 16 years and under on Tuesday 10 January – day three of main draw;

* The tournament moving up to Tier IV status, accompanied by prize money increasing from US$110,000 to US$145,000;

* Rebranding the tournament to include the word ‘International’;

* A new Tournament Director, Gerard Corradini, General Manager of Tennis ACT; and

* Five players ranked in the top 50 in the world.

The 2006 RICHARD LUTON PROPERTIES Canberra International takes place at the National Sports Club, Canberra from 8-13 January 2006.

[photo] Dual WTA Tour title winner in 2005 Lucie Safarova is headed for Canberra in January.

The international Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event is a joint initiative between Tennis Australia and Tennis ACT, and forms part of the "Road to the Australian Open" which helps the world’s top players prepare for the first Grand Slam of the new season.

Steve Wood added, "Tennis Australia remains committed to bringing top level tennis to each of the major cities in the lead up to the Australian Open.

"Today’s announcement of Richard Luton Properties continuing its investment in this event, coupled with the funding commitment through the Event Assistance Program (Australian Capital Tourism Corporation), has meant that Tennis Australia and Tennis ACT can ensure the continued growth of this important international tennis event."

New Tournament Director, Gerard Corradini, said "The Richard Luton Properties Canberra International has again assembled a quality international field, with Jelena’s return introducing an additional attraction for fans. Top 50 players announced today include: Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues (34), Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli (40), Roberta Vinci of Italy (41), former Australian Open junior champion Shahar Peer of Israel (45), and Czech Republic teenager Lucie Safarova (47) who won two WTA Tour titles this year.

[photo] Anabel Medina Garrigues will be amongst the favourites in Canberra.

Other notable players include: Meghann Shaughnessy (66), the 2003 champion, returning for her third year in Canberra, Croatian Karolina Sprem (65) – the last player to defeat Venus Williams at Wimbledon – and Greek Eleni Daniilidou (70).

Corradini added, "The Management Team has scheduled three night sessions including a Night Final, improved corporate entertaining area, and free entry for children aged 16 years and under on Tuesday 10 January, to improve the spectator experience at this international tournament."

[photo] L-R Australian Open Chief Executive Paul McNamee, Danielle Luton, Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood, Richard Luton and ACT Sports Minister Ted Quinlan.

Additional night sessions

The popular night session introduced in January 2005 will increase to three at the 2006 tournament, with night sessions commencing at 7.00pm on Wednesday 11 January, Thursday 12 January and the Final on Friday 13 January.

Kids' Day

As part of Tennis Australia’s aims to grow the game, and to help expose our next generation of budding tennis champions to the sport played at the highest level, a new Kids’ Day is being introduced with free entry to children aged 16 years and under on Tuesday 10 January – day three of main draw.

Part of the 'Road to the Australian Open'

The Richard Luton Properties Canberra International is one of six tournaments that form the ‘Road to the Australian Open’. In October it was announced that a $1 million advertising campaign would run on the Seven Network promoting the sport's biggest heroes and include a pointer to ticket sales for all the tournaments. In addition, each of the tournaments has adopted the Australian Open tagline of 'Bring It On!'.

Main Sponsors

Richard Luton Properties have signed up as naming rights sponsor for the second year. At the same time, the ACT Government, through the Australian Capital Tourism Corporation, has a three-year agreement to support the tournament through the Event Assistance Program.


Tickets for the 2006 tournament are on sale now, available through Tennis ACT on (02) 6247 8804, with intimate Centre Court setting enabling fans to get a great view of the world class action.

Corporate Packages

Packages are available for the entire main draw or as a 3-day Finals package - packages include corporate hospitality through Rydges Capital Hill. To book your premium reserved seats contact Steve Whelan on (02) 6231 7598.

Jelena Dokic Fact File:

Born: Belgrade, Yugoslavia, April 12 1983
Immigrated to Australia: 1994
Fed Cup: Played for Australia from 1999-2000 (win/loss record 9:2)
Australian Olympic Team 2000 (semifinalist – lost to Monica Seles in Bronze Medal Match)
Won Hopman Cup for Australia in 1999 playing alongside Mark Philippoussis
Career high singles ranking: No.4 (August 19 –September 22, 2002)
Career-high doubles ranking: No.10 (February 4 – March 31, April 8 – May 5, 2002
Current singles ranking: 349

© Copyright 2005, Tennis Australia.
The article quoted from the Tennis Australia website -

"Dokic coming home"
News Limited (FOX Sports)
30th November, 2005

Dokic coming home
By Leo Schlink
November 30, 2005

[photo] Happy return ... Dokic wants to come home. Pic: Agence France-Presse

JELENA Dokic's tennis exile is over.

Vote: Will you welcome Jelena home?
Support: Dokic handed Canberra wildcard

Dokic, 22, will return to Australia on Saturday, intent on rebuilding a shattered career away from her dominating father Damir.

The former world No.4, now languishing at No.349, wants to contest the Australian Open in January as an Australian.

Dokic will leave Zagreb in Croatia on Friday to forge a fresh start to a broken career - and life - after turning her back on Australia four years ago.

Despite playing Fed Cup last year for Serbia and Montenegro, Belgrade-born Dokic insists her loyalties are with her adopted country.

Under International Tennis Federation regulations, Dokic is free to play under the Australian flag at grand slams and other tournaments.

"I am an Australian, I feel like an Australian and I want to play for Australia again,'' she said yesterday.

"Australia is such a great country. The people are amazing.

"I had tremendous support from a lot of people, I loved playing Fed Cup, it was a great experience for me. I got along with everyone.

"I never got rid of my Australian nationality. I'm ready to be Australian again - there would be no point going back if I didn't feel Australian.

"I made a really good connection with so many people when I was at Tennis Australia and I'd like to have that feeling again.

"This is not any easy step to take for either side and I don't know what to expect."

Dokic is no longer on speaking terms with her father and former coach Damir and maintains only irregular contact with her mother Liliana.

Damir is one of the most reviled figures in international tennis because of a series of ugly, drunken confrontations.

He ordered his daughter to abandon Australia in 2001 after repeatedly accusing Australian Open officials of rigging the draw and the family moved to Serbia.

Dokic, who has been living in Croatia with her boyfriend, blames her father for many of the problems which have blighted her career.

"What happened before, I had no control over," Dokic said.

"I wanted to go back before but I was a little afraid of what reception I'd receive.

"Everyone will have their opinion and I cannot know how much will be positive or negative, but I owe a lot to so many people in Australia. It is where I belong."

Dokic and her family fled war-ravaged Yugoslavia in 1994 to settle in Sydney.

The nimble baseliner was quickly spotted as a future star and guided through the Australian system by coaches Craig Miller, Lesley Bowrey and Tony Roche.

Glories soon flowed with an appearance in the Wimbledon semi-finals after beating No.1 seed Martina Hingis in the opening round, WTA titles and the seemingly inevitable rise to grand slam honours.

But Damir Dokic's antics - behaviour which led to a six-month ban from tournaments after his fight over the price of a plate of fish at the US Open - created a suffocating millstone.

As rumours of physical and mental abuse shadowed Dokic's results, she finally succumbed.

"I was upset with what happened before," she said.

"There just comes a point when you have had enough. If you train for 10 hours and a day and you aren't happy, you cannot perform.

"My father and I have completely different ideas. We aren't on the same wavelength. I am not able to live with him or to work with him.

"When you are in that situation you can survive for a certain period of time but then it has to end.

"It is like that with a coach, but it is so much tougher when it is family."

Dokic again wallowed this season, dropping to the secondary Challenger circuit. She was a no-show at Wimbledon qualifying, where she had been promised a wildcard.

She has identified the Australian Open training camp at Melbourne Park next month as a launch pad for regrouping.

She plans to contest the play-off for the Australian Open singles wild card before tournaments in Auckland and Canberra.

"When you have gone through so much . . . I've no regrets at what happened. If I win a grand slam or reach the top 10 it's because it was destined to happen.

"I carried an enormous amount of pressure on my shoulders before, but I'm free of that now.

"I finally feel happy and good about my life."

The Advertiser

Copyright 2004 News Limited. All times AEST (GMT+10).
The article quoted from the FOX Sports website -

"Dokic to receive no home help"
News Limited (FOX Sports)
1st December, 2005

Dokic to receive no home help
By Leo Schlink
December 1, 2005

[photo] Hard work ... Dokic will have to earn her spot. Pic: Associated Press

JELENA Dokic will not be given special Australian Open favours over home-grown players.

Dokic, who returns to Australia at the weekend after a three-year exile, will have to re-establish herself on merit.

Australian Open chief executive Paul McNamee said Dokic's first competitive port of call was the Open training camp wildcard play-off in three weeks.

"Jelena is going to be at the Australian Open training camp and she will be in the play-off," McNamee said.

"We won't be making any decision on wildcards for the Australian Open until after the play-offs.

"There will be a level playing field for everyone. We will be fair with every player."

If Dokic failed to win the December 16-19 play-off - a strong possibility given she has not played since August - she would then have to rely on the generosity of organisers.

Open officials allocate eight wildcards into both the men's and women's singles main draw.

Three women's wildcards have already been distributed - to Kia Pro Tour winner Casey Dellacqua, another to the French Tennis Federation under a reciprocal agreement and a third to Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradov, winner of the Asian Championships.

If Dokic was still in need of a wildcard to avoid qualifying, the former Wimbledon semi-finalist would be in the running for one of the remaining wildcards.

Dokic will make her Australian tennis tournament return at the Canberra International from January 6 to 13.

The Canberra tournament will be Dokic's first in Australia since 2001.

The Advertiser

Copyright 2004 News Limited. All times AEST (GMT+10).
The article quoted from the FOX Sports website -

"Dokic arrives in Melbourne"
News Limited (FOX Sports)
3rd December, 2005

Dokic arrives in Melbourne
December 3, 2005

EMBATTLED tennis star Jelena Dokic has arrived in Melbourne today confident of resurrecting her career as an Australian.

The former world No.4, whose ranking has slumped to 349th in the world, jetted in from Vienna today.

Dokic, who will attend a Tennis Australia camp at Melbourne Park next week, is chasing a wildcard entry for next month's Australian Open.

"I was a little bit nervous coming here," said Dokic, a Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2000.

"I'm even happier with my decision now.

"It will be tough, not everyone will agree with my decision. "I'm really excited about coming here."

Dokic has not played in Australia since 2001 and is expected to compete at the Canberra International from January 6-13.

The 22-year-old dual passport holder has decided to turn her back on her birthplace of Serbia ・and more particularly her father Damir ・ and realign herself with Australia after enduring a nightmare 2005 season.


Copyright 2004 News Limited. All times AEST (GMT+10).
The article quoted from the FOX Sports website -

"It was all Dad's fault: Dokic"
News Limited (FOX Sports)
4th December, 2005

It was all Dad's fault: Dokic
By Chris Tinkler and Rosanne Michie
December 4, 2005

TROUBLED tennis player Jelena Dokic has pleaded with Australians to allow her to make a fresh start and blamed her unpredictable father for past controversies.

After flying in from Vienna last night, Dokic, 22, refused to apologise for her acrimonious exit from Australia in 2001.

"I really want to make new start and I feel Australian already," a nervous Dokic said.

Asked about her father, Damir, she said: "He's my father, he's family, but he doesn't make my decisions any more. I make my own. We didn't agree on a lot of things, but that's life - we have to look forward and go from here."

Monte Carlo-based Dokic said she'd been building up the courage to return after breaking free of her father's influence.

"It wasn't a sudden change. I wanted to do it even two years ago and there was talk about that.

"I was a little bit worried about the people's reaction, but I took a risk and this is what I want and it would be nice if people accept it."

But former Federation Cup teammate Rennae Stubbs is not ready to forgive and forget.

"She owes a lot of apologies to people and the Australian public is one of them, as well as her fellow Australian players that she left hanging," Stubbs said.

But Dokic said she wanted to gain acceptance after almost five years in exile.

"I really want to fit in here and I'm looking forward to playing for Australia again," she said.

"Hopefully people will understand my side of the story. I've had some very difficult things to deal with, but this has always been home. This is where I did most of my tennis and most of the help I've been given has been here."

She said leaving was ill-advised.

"I didn't know any better. I didn't do anything wrong. The decisions were not made by me."

Dokic, who has arrived in Australia without a coach and with few sponsorships, was driven away from the airport with her boyfriend, Tino Bikic.

Among her first challenges are securing a berth at the Australian Open by winning its training camp wildcard play-offs, held from December 16 to 19, or through the generosity of the tournament's organisers.

Sunday Herald Sun

Copyright 2004 News Limited. All times AEST (GMT+10).
The article quoted from the FOX Sports website -

"Jelena steps out at Melbourne Park"
Tennis Australia
5th December, 2005
Tennis Australia - News

Jelena steps out at Melbourne Park
December 5, 2005

Melbourne Park, December 5 - Jelena Dokic has begun preparations for the summer of tennis with her first hit since arriving in Australia at Melbourne Park today.

The former world No.4 arrived in Melbourne on Saturday night set to make a fresh start playing under the Australian flag.

Dokic will take part in the Australian Open Training Camp run by Tennis Australia beginning on Wednesday aimed at preparing Australia’s top players for the summer. She will then participate in the Australian Open wildcard play-off, which grants the winner a main draw wildcard.

The 22-year-old said she was looking forward to getting her career back on track beginning in Australia.

"I believe in myself. I’ve trained hard to get to this stage again and I definitely think I can get back," Dokic said. "I’m really motivated again. It’s a lot harder to come back than to come up but if I can do it I think I’ll be a stronger player.

"Being here and training for a month will help me out a lot. Training with the girls and the guys and doing this camp will help me a lot and then I get some wildcards and hopefully I can do well at the beginning of the circuit."

Dokic will head to Auckland after Christmas for her first tournament on the WTA Tour since May this year, before returning to Australia to play in the Richard Luton Properties Canberra International where she has been given a wildcard.

So far her reception in Australia had been positive, she said.

"Everybody who I have to deal with so far has been really good," she said. "I’m here to earn the respect again from players tennis-wise and from the people as well.

"I came here a month early to practise and to try to fit in and hopefully it will all go well."

Dokic said she was happy to be back in Australian surrounds and said the first thing she did was indulge in some Aussie favourites.

"I eat some Tim Tams," she joked. "I miss that. I miss a lot of things. The city has been great. We wanted to take in some sights on the weekend and I will do some more of that in the next few days."

[photo] Jelena gets ready for a practise session against Melbournian Lauren Breadmore at Melbourne Park today.

Australian Open tournament director Paul McNamee said it would be a tough road but he was confident she would get back.

"The expectations shouldn’t be too high," McNamee said. "It’s a long way back from that ranking. But she has the eye of the tiger and the fire in her belly, which is a good sign.

Dokic, who represented Australia in the Olympics, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup, is back in Australia for the first time since 2001 when her father took the family overseas in a highly publicised departure.

The move comes after a two-year period of changes in her personal life, which has seen her ranking freefall from a career high of world No.4 in August 2002 to its current mark of 349.

[photo] Jelena Dokic: "I think I can get back".

The Australian Open Training Camp begins on Wednesday at Melbourne Park, involving Australia's leading players. It concludes with an Australian Open Wildcard Play-Off in which 16 of the top men and 16 women will compete for a main draw wildcard into the Australian Open.

Click here for more information on the Australian Open Training Camp.

© Copyright 2005, Tennis Australia.
The article quoted from the Tennis Australia website -

"Australian Open Training Camp kicks off at Melbourne Park"
Tennis Australia
7th December, 2005
Tennis Australia - AO Training Camp

Australian Open Training Camp kicks off at Melbourne Park
December 7, 2005

Over 30 top Australian players gathered at Melbourne Park today for the beginning of the Australian Open Training Camp.

Over the next week, they will be put through a gruelling training schedule under a hot Melbourne sun in preparation for a bumper summer of tennis on The Road to the Australian Open.

Some have direct entry into tournaments like the Moorilla Hobart International and the Mondial Australian Women's Hardcourts, while others will have to fight for the right to compete in the qualifying events and main draws.

[photo] Jelena Dokic warms up outside Rod Laver Arena for the start of the Australian Open Training Camp at Melbourne Park today.

During the next week, these players will train with some of the country's best coaches including National High Performance Academy coaches Paul Kilderry, John McCurdy, Richard Fromberg and Head Coach Jason Stoltenberg.

Joining the camp are:

Men: Andrew Coelho, Luke Bourgeois, Andrew Derer, Raphael Durek, Adam Feeney, Chris Guccione, Nathan Healey, Stephen Huss, Alun Jones, Rameez Junaid, Sadik Kadir, Joel Kerley, Marc Kimmich, Nick Lindahl, Shannon Nettle, Joseph Sirianni, Robert Smeets.

Women: Monique Adamczak, Cassandra Barr, Lauren Breadmore, Holly Cao, Casey Dellacqua, Daniella Dominikovic, Jelena Dokic, Emily Hewson, Christina Horiatopoulos, Olivia Lukaszewicz, Shayna McDowell, Trudi Musgrave, Beti Sekulovski, Adriana Szili, Cindy Watson, Tiffany Welford, Christina Wheeler.

*Peter Luczak, Todd Reid, Samantha Stosur and Nicole Pratt will be joining the camp from Monday 12 December.

The camp will culminate in a play-off tournament for a coveted Australian Open main draw wildcard from December 16-19.

"It's nice to practise in a team," said former world No.4 Jelena Dokic, who has returned to Australia to play for the country she grew up in and represented from 1999 in Fed Cup.

"It's tougher practice and you get to practise with a lot of different people. It's a really good system."

Dokic said it would be difficult to win the Australian Open Wildcard Play-Off, acknowledging that many of her fellow Aussies had an equal chance.

"Everyone's out here to win the wildcard. I'm not too concerned about that. I have some practising to do before then."

[photo] Sharing a joke before a morning address.

[photo] Carsten Ball arrives for the camp.

[photo] Rising star Shayna McDowell of Qld will be one to watch over the next fortnight at Melbourne Park.

[photo] 2005 Wimbledon doubles champion Stephen Huss joined his fellow Aussies for the morning's address.

[photo] Jelena Dokic contemplates her new future in Australia.

[photo] Perth's Casey Dellacqua will be looking to continue recent outstanding form on the Kia Pro Circuit in Queensland and South Australia which has left her with a career-high ranking of 198.

[photo] South Australian Andrew Derer (left) and Raphael Durek (NSW) listen attentively to Tennis Australia director of Player Development, Craig Tiley.

[photo] The Aussies warm-up outside Rod Laver Arena.

[photo] Looking fit and ready for action is Queensland's Tiffany Welford.

[photo] Daniella Dominikovic is set to have her first hit at the camp with Jelena Dokic.

[photo] Former professional and hitting partner of Martina Hingis and the Williams sisters, Mark Hlawaty takes the first session with Dominikovic, Christina Wheeler (VIC) and Dokic.

[photo] One to watch: Andrew Coelho won back-to-back Kia Pro Circuit doubles titles with Carsten Ball in Happy Valley and Berri.

© Copyright 2005, Tennis Australia.
The article quoted from the Tennis Australia website -

"Dokic wins Australian Open wildcard"
Tennis Australia
19th December, 2005
Tennis Australia - AO Training Camp

Dokic wins Australian Open wildcard
December 19, 2005

Melbourne Park, December 19 - A relieved Jelena Dokic won a place in next month’s Australian Open today after capturing the wildcard playoff at Melbourne Park.

Dokic, 22, who has returned to represent Australia on the international circuit and rebuild her ranking to a career high No.4, defeated Monique Adamczak 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Currently ranked No.349, Dokic admitted nerves led to the loss of her first set during the Australian Wildcard Play-Off.

[photo] Jelena Dokic (left) with Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard and runner-up Monique Adamczak after the Australian Open wildcard play-off.

"I was very nervous the beginning of the match and that showed in the first set. But it was good to come out of that," Dokic said.

"I was down in the second set as well so, I pulled myself together so I’m happy."

Dokic, who will compete in Auckland and Canberra before the Australian Open, said she was relieved to win the wildcard on her own merits.

"I don’t have to wait to see if I will get one. I had a good time at the (Australian Open) camp, I was getting better and better with each match. I think it’s just a matter of nerves for me because I haven’t played for so long, and I’m happy with that. I overcame that."

Dokic said she would be focussing on her fitness and staying healthy for the next few weeks leading into the Open.

"I just need to go for it and not be as nervous. I have a little bit more confidence now and I will just work my way in, which is good," she said.

"I’m still pulling up sore after matches but this is normal. It’s good that’s happening now before the actual tournaments start."

[photo] Monique Adamczak led Dokic for the first set and a half.

Dokic said there was still much room for improvement, but that her main goal was building fitness and confidence for a strong season in 2006.

"It will still take some time. Definitely having these four matches here has helped. The Australian Open is a very important tournament for me but I’m looking more towards the first six months of next year.

"My ranking’s pretty low, so I have nothing to lose. I have no points to defend, and I can only improve. Every match that I win is a bonus. There’s absolutely no pressure on me."

"Getting in the top 100 is my first goal so I can get into tournaments. Having some wildcards at the beginning will help, but if I can play well and improve well with each match I think I can get in the top 50."

Results Summary

Final:Dokic d Adamczak 4-6 6-3 6-2
SF: Dokic d Musgrave 6-1 6-3
QF: Dokic d McDowell 7-6(3) 6-1
R1: Jelena Dokic d Beti Sekulovski (VIC) 6-2 7-6(6)

© Copyright 2005, Tennis Australia.
The article quoted from the Tennis Australia website -