Dokic grateful to Australians for supporting her tennis career

May 27th, 2009 - 2:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, May 27 (Xinhua) Jelena Dokic, playing at the French Open for the first time since 2004, thanked all the Australians for saving her tennis career.
Australian citizen Dokic, who was born in former Yugoslavia, marked her return to Roland Garros by downing Croat Karolina Sprem 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 here Tuesday.

After booking a second-round date with Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva, she said she could not have made it back on to the big stage if it had not been for the support she got during her emotional journey to January’s Australian Open quarter-finals.

“Those people in Australia have probably brought my career back on track. I will be grateful to them for the rest of my life,” the former world number four, now ranked 80th, said in a news conference.

“No matter how hard it is on tour sometimes, every week when you play, I always try to remember that, because that’s what brought me back.”

Since her unexpected run in Melbourne, her form has dipped and she has not managed to win back-to-back matches on the main tour.

“I’m number 80 in the world, so I have nothing to defend for the rest of the year. I have pretty high goals.

“Even though I haven’t played as well as I wanted to since the Australian Open, I’ve still had good wins and I’ve only played four events. Considering all that, I think I’m on the right track,” she added.

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