Abu­sive dad made Aussie prodigy sleep at Wim­ble­don

Daily Mail - - The Ashes 2017 - By MIKE DICK­SON

FOR­MER world No 4 Je­lena Do­kic has told how her abu­sive fa­ther ban­ished her from their ho­tel af­ter she lost the 2000 Wim­ble­don semi-fi­nal against Lind­say Daven­port. For­mer Wim­ble­don ref­eree Alan Mills found her on a sofa in the player lounge at 11pm that night af­ter be­ing tipped off by a cleaner. He then had to ar­range for her to be taken to a nearby house rented by her man­age­ment com­pany. This is one of many sto­ries she re­lated about her fa­ther Damir in her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, which has high­lighted the be­hav­iour of the most no­to­ri­ous ten­nis par­ent in mod­ern times. ‘You are an em­bar­rass­ment. You can’t stay at our ho­tel,’ she re­calls him say­ing af­ter the SW19 de­feat, while drunk, in her newly-pub­lished au­to­bi­og­ra­phy Un­break­able. ‘You need to go and find some­where else to sleep, stay at Wim­ble­don and sleep there some­where. Or wher­ever else. I don’t care.’ Al­ready that year he had been tem­po­rar­ily thrown out of Wim­ble­don for hurl­ing a jour­nal­ist’s mo­bile phone on the floor. Je­lena re­lated how he also used to beat and whip her, while also call­ing her a ‘slut’ and a ‘whore’ be­fore she man­aged to break away from him two years later when she was still only 19. Her fa­ther was banned from the cir­cuit in 2000 for six months, but not be­fore a sub­se­quent in­ci­dent in Canada, where she tells of how he beat her so badly that she fainted. In 2009 he was jailed for a year in Ser­bia for threat­en­ing the Aus­tralian am­bas­sador. Do­kic re­tired early be­fore com­ing back in 2009 and then fi­nally quit­ting in 2014. Her case was among those which have led to a tight­en­ing of player-wel­fare rules on the WTA Tour. AT the Nitto ATP Fi­nals in London, the slowly ful­fill­ing tal­ent of Grigor Dim­itrov got his group cam­paign off to a win­ning start when he beat Aus­tria’s Do­minic Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 in a bat­tle of two el­e­gant sin­gle-handed back­hands. Jamie Mur­ray and Brazil­ian part­ner Bruno Soares had a dis­ap­point­ing open­ing when they went down 7-5, 6-7, and 10-8 in a sud­den-death ‘cham­pi­ons’ tiebreak against vet­eran Amer­i­can twins Bob and Mike Bryan. The for­giv­ing na­ture of the round-robin for­mat means they still have hope of qual­i­fy­ing for the semi-fi­nals, but they were dis­ap­pointed to lose a 5-3 lead in the first set.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.