MY BAD MAD DAD

Star’s life of whip­pings, tor­ture and ten­nis

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - FRONT PAGE - JES­SICA HAL­LO­RAN

JELENA Dokic has sen­sa­tion­ally re­vealed she was bashed un­con­scious and re­peat­edly whipped by her de­ranged dad Damir dur­ing a 13-year reign of tor­ture as she tried to con­quer world ten­nis.

Her cruel fa­ther (right) would spit in her face, rip her hair, and even left her stranded at Wim­ble­don.

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 Mail. “It ba­si­cally started day one of me play­ing ten­nis. It spi­ralled out of con­trol.”

Dokic has de­tailed how her dad would whip her with his leather belt be­cause of “a medi­ocre train­ing ses­sion, a loss, a bad mood”. Damir Dokic would also spit in her face, pull her hair and ears, and kick her in the shins with sharp dress shoes.

He also un­leashed constant vile ver­bal abuse, in­clud­ing call­ing his teenage daugh­ter a “slut” and a “whore”.

Damir Dokic, who now lives in Ser­bia and once served jail time for threat­en­ing to kill the Aus­tralian am­bas­sador, did not re­spond to at­tempts to con­tact him for a re­sponse yes­ter­day.

His daugh­ter re­vealed that one beat­ing – pun­ish­ment for a first-round loss at a tour­na­ment in Canada – left her un­con­scious.

Dokic said she con­sid­ered sui­cide after years of emo­tional and phys­i­cal abuse.

She said the emo­tional tor­ment had hurt her more than the phys­i­cal at­tacks.

“(The beat­ings) hap­pened al­most on a daily ba­sis, but I also strug­gled with the emo­tional sit­u­a­tion,” Dokic said. “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.”

At age 17 she was aban­doned at Wim­ble­don with nowhere to sleep be­cause her fa­ther was an­gry about her semi-fi­nal loss to Lind­say Daven­port, she said.

“This was one of the hard­est mo­ments for me,” she said. “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 with her achieve­ments on the court.

Dokic’s book also de­tails her life as a young refugee en­dur­ing ex­treme poverty, racism and bul­ly­ing after her fam­ily ar­rived in Aus- tralia from the for­mer Yu­goslavia in 1994.

An Aus­tralian player on a ju­nior ten­nis tour told her to “go back to where you came from” and an un­named Aus­tralian coach said he would not have let Dokic come back to Aus­tralia, let alone play for wild­cards.

Dokic says her worst beat­ing was in Canada.

“It was a re­ally nasty mem­ory that will stay with me for­ever. I ended up faint­ing,” she said. “The bet­ter I played, the worse he got. Which is the one thing I couldn’t un­der­stand.”

Dokic has also told of Damir’s drunken be­hav­iour at Wim­ble­don and the US Open – episodes which led to him be­ing dubbed “ten­nis dad from hell”. She said his de­ci­sion in 2001 to force her to switch na­tion­al­i­ties from Aus­tralia to Yu­goslavia was her great­est re­gret.

“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 years later I came back and played for Aus­tralia ... but so much dam­age was done.”

Dokic said that de­spite ev­ery­thing, she did not hate her fa­ther. WATCH THE FULL IN­TER­VIEW ON FOX SPORTS 501, WED­NES­DAY, NOVEM­BER 15, AT 6.30PM AND 10.30PM. UN­BREAK­ABLE WILL BE RE­LEASED TO­MOR­ROW

Main pic­ture: Ja­son Ed­wards

VI­O­LENCE RE­VEALED: Jelena Dokic en­dured years of beat­ings from dad Damir (far left), with her in 2009; and with her mother Ljil­jana in 1984.

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