AND JELENA’S HOMETOO
Dokic aces health battle, relishes return to tennis
FORGOTTEN Aussie tennis star Jelena Dokic has spoken of her hopes of winning over the sporting public yet again, after overcoming illness and quietly moving back to Melbourne.
After battling a thyroid problem and dividing her time between Australia and her native Serbia, Dokic has decided to call Melbourne home for good and will embark on a career in tennis coaching and commentary.
“Obviously, since the career stopped, I’ve had a few quiet years and I’ve been off the radar a little bit which has been actually quite good,’’ she told the Sunday Herald Sun.
“I’m getting back in the swing of things and getting back into some stuff in tennis.’’
The 33-year-old will begin coaching children’s clinics and play a corporate hosting role at the Kooyong Classic next week.
“It should be great because it’s an amazing event,’’ she said.
It’s in the commentary box at the Australian Open, from January 16-29, where she hopes to serve a career ace.
Dokic, who rose as high as No. 4 in the singles rankings, will join Tennis Australia’s world feed team and will present expert analysis for Fox Sports.
“I’m really excited about that. I haven’t really commentated a huge deal, definitely not singles matches,’’ she said.
Dokic, whose career drew almost as many headlines for the boorish behaviour of her dad Damir as her precocious talent, said she was drawn to commentary after a test run at Wimbledon during her playing days.
“It’s something that I really like and I think I’ve got a pretty good insight,’’ she said.
“So it’s just about putting it together ... I know what it’s like to come out and play in front of 15,000 people or to give some insight into what the players may be going through.’’
Dokic said she had kept an eye on tennis during her time away from the game and had coached intermittently.
But she has battled illness and struggled to find her place in the tennis world since retiring in 2014, after a career which saw her reach the semis at Wimbledon and quarters of the Australian and French Opens.
“I got a little bit sick so I had to take some time off,’’ she said.
“I had a thyroid condition that I had to deal with for the last 18 months.
“It’s got better in the last few months and I’m all good and all clear now, but I had to deal with the aftermath of that.
“I’m just getting into the swing of things and looking into a lot of projects over the summer in tennis in Australia. It’s a battle and it really affects your health.
“You really need to get healthy, to get better because it affects your metabolism and your weight.
“I love the game so much, which is a positive thing, and I still want to do things that are part of tennis.’’
Former Aussie tennis star Jelena Dokic says she will enjoy coaching and commentating after a long break. Picture: EUGENEHYLAND