Dokic’s Father Still Banned From WTA Tour Events Even After Reconciliation
Jelena Dokic’s father and former coach, Damir Dokic, remains banned from attending tournaments on the women’s tour, even after the two reconciled this week after eight years, the WTA said.
Jelena Dokic, a former Wimbledon semifinalist who competes for Australia, yesterday said in a statement released by Tennis Australia that she had visited her father at his home in Serbia “to finally put an end to our disagreement.”
Jelena Dokic, 28, had ended contact with her father in 2003 following a series of incidents that overshadowed her career. He was thrown out of the 2000 U.S. Open for abusive behavior in the players’ lounge and censured at that year’s Wimbledon, where he broke a television journalist’s cell phone. In 2001, Damir accused organizers of the Australian Open of fixing the draw. He also threatened to abduct his daughter.
“As a result of previous incidents, Damir Dokic is not eligible to receive a credential for WTA tournaments,” Andrew Walker, a spokesman for the WTA, said in an e-mail. “Beyond that, each tournament has the right to decide, based on their own security considerations, who is eligible or ineligible to purchase a seat at an event.”
Walker said the WTA “will continue to monitor this matter.”
Jelena, 72nd on the WTA rankings, said she had initiated the meeting with her father “as I want to unite my family and allow us to get on with our lives and be happy. This has gone on too long.”
The reunion came 17 months after Damir was released following almost a year in jail for threatening to blow up the Australian Embassy in Belgrade and possession of an illegal cache of weapons in his house.
“My father was very receptive and I believe he has changed greatly,” Jelena said in her statement. “He understands that I am my own person who makes my own decisions.”
After three years of struggling with depression which prevented her from playing a full schedule, Dokic reached the quarterfinals of the 2009 Australian Open.
This season, she won her sixth WTA title in Kuala Lumpur in February and reached the final on the grass courts of Den Bosch in the Netherlands in June. Her next event will be in Linz, Austria, starting Oct. 10.