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Jelena Dokic was one of the brightest players of her generation but couldn’t hold it together for sustained periods. After reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2000, the Serbian-Australian became a top 10 mainstay for the next two years before losing it altogether afterwards.
What caused this downward spiral? Many tennis pundits would suggest personal issues with her father. Damir Dokic, who was also her coach, grabbed the headlines with his threats and out-of-line comments which destroyed his daughter’s career in the process. To refresh your memory, here is a timeline of the trouble and controversy.
2000: Draws criticism after declaring an opponent she lost to as a “player who has never been a player and, I guess, probably never will be.”
2001: Switches allegiance to Yugoslavia.
2001: After losing to Lindsay Davenport in the first-round of the Australian Open, Damir Dokic said “I think the draw is fixed just for her.”
2006: Represents Australia for the first time in five years.
2006: Damir Dokic threatens to kidnap his daughter and kill an Australian for her returning to the country.
2007: After cutting ties with her entire family, Dokic battles depression and weight gain.
2009: Damir Dokic is jailed for 15 months for threatening to blow up Australia’s ambassador to Belgrade.
As of July 2012, the 29 year-old is once again off the tennis court, resting an injury she had carried throughout the year. The former World No. 4 had a promising 2011 season, winning her first title in nine years and finished the year in the top 100. Whether or not she decides to play on, nothing will ever alter her image as a player with talent left unfulfilled.