DOKIC TELLS ALL
Jelena Dokic breaks her silence on being whipped, abused, kicked and spat on by father Damir
FORMER tennis champion Jelena Dokic has broken her silence to claim she endured a childhood of horrendous violence at the hands of her father, Damir Dokic.
In her explosive new book, Unbreakable, Dokic has revealed her father whipped, beat, kicked and spat at her in a frenzy that began the day she picked up a tennis racquet at age six and continued until she escaped the family home at 19.
“He beat me really badly,” Dokic told the Sunday Herald Sun in a special interview that will also air on Fox Sports.
“It basically started day one of me playing tennis,” Dokic said. “It continued on from there. It spiralled out of control.”
In her book, to be released tomorrow, Dokic reveals harrowing abuse at the hands of her father including: DAMIR Dokic whipping her with his leather belt because of “a mediocre training session, a loss, a bad mood”; DOKIC spitting in her face, pulling her hair and ears, and kicking her in the shins with sharp dress shoes; DOKIC unleashing constant vile verbal abuse, including calling his teenage daughter a “slut” and a “whore”.
In the book, Jelena Dokic also reveals she lost consciousness after one beating, the punishment for a first-round lost at a tournament in Montreal, Canada.
Dokic said she considered suicide after years of emotional and physical abuse, and said the emotional abuse “hurt more” than the physical attacks.
“(The beatings) happened almost on a daily basis, but I also struggled with the emotional situation,” Dokic said.
“Not just the physical pain but the emotional (pain), that was the one what hurt me the most … when you are 11/12 years old and hear all those nasty things … that was more difficult for me.”
Dokic said when she was just 17, in 2000, her father abandoned her at Wimbledon after her semi-final loss to Lindsay Davenport.
“This was one of the hardest moments for me,” she said. “If I had to pick one, this was the one. If you are made to sleep at the courts …”
Even though she reached world No.4 by 19, she said her father was never satisfied by her achievements.
Dokic’s book also details her life as a young refugee enduring extreme poverty, racism and bullying after the family’s arrival in Australia from the former Yugoslavia in 1994. She was told by an Australian player on a junior tennis tour “go back to where you came from”, while an unnamed coach said he would not have let Dokic “come back to Australia, let alone play for wildcards”.
She opens up about the worst beating, after a first-round loss at the du Maurier Open in Canada in 2000.
“It was a really nasty memory that will stay with me forever … I ended up fainting,” she says. “He beat me really badly.”
She added: “The better I played, the worse he got. Which is the one thing I couldn’t understand.”
In Unbreakable, Dokic details Damir’s drunken behaviour at Wimbledon and the US Open — episodes that led to the man dubbed “tennis dad from hell” being banned from the tour for six months.
She said in the Fox Sports interview that her father’s decision in 2001 to force her to switch nationalities from Australia to Yugoslavia was her greatest regret.
“If there is one thing I could take back what he did or certain decisions, leave all the physical stuff and abuse, this was the one I regret,” Dokic said in the Fox Sports interview.
“If I could turn back time, I would like to take back him making me switch from playing for Australia and playing for Yugoslavia … a few