Former world no 4 Jelena Dokic, in her new book titled Unbreakable, revealed the physical abuse she suffered as a young player at the hands of her father Damir. Some of the Australian’s allegations include name-calling and being beaten up whenever Damir was unhappy with Dokic’s performance on court.
In an interview with Australia’s Daily Telegraph, the 34-year-old said she was knocked out unconscious by her dad after a thrashing on one occasion. The former Wimbledon semi-finalist added that she was regularly beaten with a belt and a hard-capped boot. Damir, dubbed as “tennis dad from hell” in the media, was also accused of verbal abuse, labelling his daughter a “w****”.
Dokic also recounted that she was asked to sleep at the Wimbledon courts after being told that she was not allowed in the family hotel room following her semi-final defeat in 2000. In one of the excerpts from her book, the Yugoslav-born wrote that, at one stage, she “didn’t have any part of her back that wasn’t covered in cuts”.
Tennis Australia, on Monday, said that some officials had lodged police complaints about the matter. “All of us at Tennis Australia applaud Jelena’s courage in telling her story and will continue to support her in any way we can,” the organisation said in a statement.
“There were many in tennis at the time who were concerned for Jelena’s welfare, and many who tried to assist with what was a difficult family situation. Some officials even went as far as lodging police complaints, which without cooperation from those directly involved, unfortunately could not be fully investigated.”