Australian Tennis Star Jelena Dokic in North Lakes to Tell Story Of Survival

Yugoslavian-born Australian tennis luminary Jelena Dokic will be in North Lakes Community Centre Hall on the 30th November. She will discuss her autobiographical book, “Unbreakable”, which she wrote with Jess Halloran, an award-winning senior sports writer of News Corp.

The doors will open at 12:00 noon and Ms Dokic’s talk starts at 12:30 p.m. She will be signing books after her talk. Everyone can buy a book at the event or they can bring their own copies to be signed.

“Unbreakable” narrates how Ms Dokic endured her status as a refugee twice, coming from war-torn Yugoslavia, and making Australia her home. It recounts how she successfully emerged as a tennis star. But the one thing poignant and resonating, albeit controversial, about this autobiography is that it is the only time that she has spoken about the years of abuse she suffered in the hands of her father, Damir Dokic.

Credit: The Shark Boi YouTube

Ms Dokic is now busy mentoring and coaching young tennis players after a shoulder and wrist injury required her to retire from tennis in 2013.

Australia will always know Ms Dokic for her exceptional athletic skills. At 16, she already made it to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, reaching the semi-finals by 17. By 18 years old, she was already in the world’s top 10 and by 19, she was number 4.  She was the world’s number 9 in doubles. She received her first WTA singles title at the Rome Masters in 2001. She was also a French Open doubles finalist the same year.

All throughout her success, it would appear that her father was a strong foundation of her triumphant career. The “Unbreakable”, however, reveals otherwise.

The book recounts how she suffered both verbal abuse and physical beating at the hands of her father. At one point, during her semi-final loss in 2000, her father kicked her out of the hotel room and she was forced to sleep at the Wimbledon courts. There had also been a time when she was kicked in the head until she lost consciousness, all because she lost another game.

Credit: Jupjupz YouTube

In support of Ms Dokic, Tennis Australia has released the following statement:

“All of us at Tennis Australia applaud Jelena’s courage in telling her story and will continue to support her in any way we can. 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. Some officials even went as far as lodging police complaints, which without cooperation from those directly involved, unfortunately could not be fully investigated. Over the past ten years tennis has been constantly improving and updating policies to increase protection for children. Tennis Australia is working closely with the Australian Childhood Foundation to strengthen the safeguarding of children across the sport”.

Elsewhere, other popular personalities are united in praising Ms Dokic for her bravery in writing the book. Australian basketballer Andrew Bogu, co-host of Channel 10’s “The Project” Carrie Bickmore, and Aussie tennis coach Darren Cahill, have all taken to Twitter to praise her.

For more details about her talk at the North Lakes Community Centre Hall, click here. The event is free but booking is required. Please click here to attend.