MY BAD MAD DAD
Star’s life of whippings, torture and tennis
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
VIOLENCE REVEALED: Jelena Dokic endured years of beatings from dad Damir (far left), with her in 2009; and with her mother Ljiljana in 1984.