reveals abuse by father
• Former tennis star Jelena Dokic said from a young age her father regularly beat and kicked her. He would pull her hair, spit in her face and belittle her with vile insults.
Dokic, once ranked No. 4 in the world and a Wimbledon semifinalist, writes of her ordeal with Damir Dokic, also her coach, in an autobiography to be released this week.
“He beat me really badly,” Dokic, now 34, told Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph. “It basically started Day One of me playing tennis. It continued on from there. It spiraled out of control.”
After losing to Lindsay Davenport in the Wimbledon semifinals in 2000 at age 17, Dokic said her father refused to acknowledge her following the match. He told her not to return to the hotel where the family was staying. She was so distressed she attempted to sleep in the players’ area at Wimbledon before officials contacted her agents and arranged for her to stay with them.
Damir Dokic is living in Serbia and had no comment.
Excerpts from the book and a video interview published in Australian newspapers generated wide debate about how the situation was allowed to continue throughout Dokic’s teenage years.
Tennis Australia praised Dokic’s courage in exposing the abuse. The governing body said an official had taken the matter to the authorities.
“There were many in tennis at the time who were concerned for Jelena’s welfare, and many who tried to assist with what was a difficult family situation,” Tennis Australia said in a statement. “Some officials even went as far as lodging police complaints, which without cooperation from those directly involved, unfortunately could not be fully investigated.”
Tennis Australia said over the past 10 years the sport has strengthened steps to protect young players.
• Rafael Nadal will have to wait another year to win the ATP Finals. The world No. 1 withdrew from the elite, season-ending tournament after losing his opening match to David Goffin 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-4 at the O2 Arena in London.
Nadal pulled out of the Paris Masters at the quarterfinal stage 10 days ago and admitted ahead of the ATP Finals that his knees, which have caused him trouble throughout his career, were still “not perfect.”
Frenchman Poisson dies following training crash
• French downhiller David Poisson died Monday following a training crash in Canada. The French skiing federation said the 35-year-old Poisson, who won a bronze medal in the downhill at the 2013 world championships, was training in the Canadian resort of Nakiska for World Cup races in North America. The federation did not elaborate.
Poisson secured his only World Cup podium in 2015 when he came in third in the Santa Caterina downhill in Italy.
— From wire reports
Sports news briefs, compiled Nov. 13: Dokic reveals abuse in book