Tennis

Dokic reunites with father

2011-09-28 09:01
Jelena Dokic (File)

Sydney - Australian tennis star Jelena Dokic has reunited with her volatile father Damir, eight years after severing ties due to his bizarre behaviour.

"I would like to confirm media reports that I have reconciled with my father Damir Dokic," she said in a statement.

"My partner, Tin Bikic, and I have visited my father at his home to finally put an end to our disagreement."

The Serbian-born Dokic stormed onto the international scene at Wimbledon in 1999 when she pulled off a major grand slam shock, beating world number one Martina Hingis in the first round.

She soared up the rankings to number four in the world in 2002 but struggled for years to escape the notorious influence of her father, slipping into the 600s during her well-documented split from him.

The family rift followed a series of bizarre episodes including Damir being banned from the All England Club at Wimbledon and at one point claiming his daughter had been kidnapped.

Then in 2009 he was charged with threatening the Australian ambassador to Serbia and illegal possession of firearms, and served a year in jail.

Dokic managed to piece together a second stage of her career, reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals in 2009, capturing the public imagination as stories emerged of her being penniless and sleeping on a friend's floor.

She is currently ranked 72.

"I initiated the meeting as I want to reunite my family and allow us all to get on with our lives and be happy. This has gone on too long," Jelena, 28, said in comments carried by the Sydney Daily Telegraph Wednesday.

"I am in a very positive and confident frame of mind in my life and I really wanted to do this because I believe it is the right thing to do both for me and for all of my family.

"My father was very receptive and I believe he has changed greatly. He understands that I am my own person who makes my own decisions."

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