Welcome back, Jelena Dokic. The former #4 scored a hard fought first round win over Pazcek, 62 36 64. Matt Cronin rewards her with a nice write-up:
“I battled severe depression for about two years,” a tearful she said. “ Didn't play for months at a time. Was really seriously thinking about not playing. But tennis is not the most important thing in the world, but it's something that I love. I was very disappointed when I couldn't play well. It was a tough time in my life. I had a lot to go through, a lot of family issues. It's really a miracle for me. What I had to go through, it's really great to have this win. I don't think a lot of people know what it means to me.”
Dokic’s awful relationship with her father Damir is well chronicled, but that she still is still attempting to mend fences with her mother Liliana, who lives in Sydney, and her younger brother, Savo, who lives in Belgrade, is troubling. She hasn’t spoken to her father for years.
“I talk to my mom. We're mending that relationship,” she said. “As soon as I left home, my relationship, went down the hill with my dad. It went down the hill with my whole family. The biggest thing I regret is my brother, who is eight years younger than me. I didn't have contact with him for years until the last 12 months. That was the hardest thing to deal with. But I still feel like I've lost them. I will try my best to do what I can to patch up my things with my brother and my mom. It will be difficult. But it's not just that. I had so much to go through while my dad was on the tour. I was just so young and just had no real idea what was going on. But it was real difficult to take all that, what was going on off the court, all the outbursts. It was not easy to play with that. I played with a huge pressure on my shoulders. I kind of just cracked by the time I was 19 already.”
Dokic credits her longtime boyfriend, Croatian Tin Bikic, the bother of her coach, Borna, as sticking with her through thick and thin. What she hasn’t mentioned was that it partly her relationships with the Bikic’s that caused a wedge with her family. The Bikic brothers have been accused by some in the Croatian and Serbians media or almost ruining the careers of Dokic, as well as Borna’s girlfriend, Karolina Sprem, who qualified for the Austrian Open but went down on Monday.
“My boyfriend was there. We've been together for six years,” Dokic said. “So it was probably even tougher for him at times than it was for me because he had to watch me go through all that. It was a constant battle every day, just how I will be, whether I will be able to get out of bed. He was there the whole time no matter what.”
I just caught a clip of her very emotional presser. She teared up quite a bit throughout. This really was a very emotional win for her.