My special on Jelena Dokic who made us cry tears of joy


Wildcard competitor Jelena Dokic, ranked 187th in the world, is making her comeback even more wonderful than anyone could have imagined, and to make things better, everything’s happening at her home Grand Slam, the Australian Open. Inspired by her brilliant run and beautiful emotional post-match interviews, I decided to make this little special.

I will start with ESPN’s short story about the 25-year-old Jelena’s life and career.

At the 2009 Australian Open, the former world No.4 Dokic first defeated world No.80 Tamira Paszek, then upset No.18 Anna Chakvetadze, the amazing story continued with a defeat of No.12 Caroline Wozniacki, and No.31 Alisa Kleybanova. Dokic has reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and will next face powerful third seed Dinara Safina.

Dokic’s post-match interview after her first-round win was the most emotional, as she talked about all the difficulties she went through.

Even world No.5 Ana Ivanovic, whose conqueror Alisa Kleybanova Dokic defeated in the fourth round, was moved by Dokic’s story:

Jelena has been great to watch. I admit I cried during her interview after her first round match. She has been through so much and I’m happy for her.

What follows is Dokic’s interview after her second-round victory.

Dokic’s huge family problems affected her career as well as her health, as she suffered from depression for two years. The main cause of those troubles was her father Damir, who now wants to get back into his daughter’s life. However, Jelena ruled out any possibility of reconciliation with her estranged father.

It’s his decision (but) I’ve said always my whole story with him is finished. […] It would have to be an unbelievable miracle for him to change. I don’t see that happening. I have my tennis and I have my life. I want to do it that way. Knowing him, I just don’t see any possibilities. We are really different and really disagree on pretty much everything.

The following video shows Dokic after her third-round win.

Even if Dokic loses to Safina in the quarterfinals, she will crack the Top 100, and her achievement at the 2009 Australian Open will be remembered as one of the best stories in the history of tennis. She made the whole world, if not cry than at least get goosebumps.

And finally, Dokic after her fourth-round match. Or maybe not finally. We may be about to witness one more shock at the Australian Open.

Jelena, all the best in the quarterfinals! I hope that ankle injury won’t hamper your game.


  1. I feel so happy for Jelena. I watched her grow as a tennis player, with that mental strength that makes the difference to be a world number 1. Unfortunately, I also watched the often rediculous antics of her father and there was no doubt that she had no chance of being a champion, because she, like any daughter at that time, had to support her father and that distraction was enough for he to lose that edge.

    It is such a shame she lost so many years, but I was so, so pleased if not overjoyed to see the same fire is still there.

    I am certainly banking on her name being fitted back into the equation and the top 20 have to recalculate their strategies!

    Bravo Jelena, welcome back.

    an Aussie living now in Morocco

  2. Jelena is back, and she is going to shake things up. I never thought I would see this–it’s like a tennis miracle. I’m really happy for her.

  3. Dom, I agree, Jelena has that something special that not all the players have, and that too is one of the reasons I’m so happy to see her making it again.

    Diane, I think it’s a miracle even for Jelena. I think everyone is in the same state of shock and pleasure.

  4. She really is the new Capriati with that on-court attitude of hers, but yet is rather emotionless in interviews. Hingis used to kick her butt all the time, it’s amazing she’s better now. lol


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