Dokic is not done yet

May 29, 2009

dokicIf anyone deserves to make a successful comeback to top flight tennis it is Jelena Dokic.

When most players want a second bite of the cherry, it is because they enjoyed their careers so much the first time round and realised how much they missed it when they began to pursue other interests. If in doubt ask Martina Navratilova, (a blink and you’ll miss it singles return in 2004), Martina Hingis or even Kim Clijsters (who has had enough of changing nappies, perhaps).

But Dokic, once ranked as high as fourth in the world and a former Wimbledon semi-finalist, had little to shout about when she was making waves about a decade ago.

Her career was marred by depression, injuries and not to mention a domineering father (who had a penchant for destroying other people’s mobile phones and complaining about the price of salmon among many other things).

With such memories tied in with what should have been the best days of her life as a sportswoman, few would have blamed her if she had sprinted away as far as possible from a tennis court.

But it is because she wants to replace those memories with happier ones that she embarked on a comeback trail this year.

Luckily for her, she has not lost the talent, or the heart, to produce the goods on court. Despite being ranked 187th in the world in January, she beat three seeded players to make it all the way to the Australian Open quarter-finals.

On Thursday, she had fourth seed Elena Dementieva running around like a demented puppy at the French Open second round for over an hour before a back injury struck and forced her to make a sobbing exit.

Before the unfortunate end to her challenge, there were enough signs on display to show that she could once again be reducing other players to tears.

PHOTO: Jelena Dokic during her match against Elena Dementieva at the French Open, May 28, 2009. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

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Jelena’s spirit should be an inspiration to anyone who has to overcome any type of setback in life. And to suffer what she has on the public stage makes it even more remarkable. Here’s hoping she is not hurt too badly and can make it to Wimbledon.

Posted by markh | Report as abusive