Local News

Tennis star Jelena Dokic alleges her father beat her almost daily

But she says the constant barrage of verbal abuse was worse than the beatings that caused her to lose consciousness.
Loading the player...

Jelena Dokic took the tennis world by storm when at just 16-years-old, she beat women’s world number one Martina Hingis, but her story was actually one of harrowing survival.

In her new book Unbreakable, Dokic alleges she underwent regular beatings from her father that were so severe she sometimes lost consciousness.

“It basically started day one of me playing tennis. It continued on from there. It spiralled out of control,” she writes.

As well as the physical abuse, Damir Dokic allegedly subjected his teenage daughter to constant verbal abuse, calling her a “slut” and a “whore”.

“[The beatings] happened almost on a daily basis, but … the emotional [pain], that was the one that hurt me the most … when you are 11, 12 years old and hear all those nasty things … that was more difficult for me.”

Dokic also claims that her father would whip her with a leather belt when there was a “mediocre training session [or] a loss, a bad mood”, as well as spitting in her face, pulling her hair and ears, and kick her in the shins with pointed dress shoes.

Damir Dokic was known for his angry outbursts and conspiracy theories on the tennis world, one such outburst even saw him banned from the women’s tour of the US Open in 2000.

On the release of Dokic’s book, Tennis Australia released a statement saying: “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.”

Dokic’s book also reveals what her life was like as a Yugoslavian refugee as well as the racism she experienced in 1994 upon her arrival to Australia.

Damir Dokic now lives in Serbia. In 2009, he was sentenced to 15 months prison for threatening the Australian ambassador to Serbia with a hand grenade.

Related stories

Unwind and relax with your favourite magazine!

Huge savings plus FREE home delivery