Tennis match brought Dokic back to game (Australian Open diary)

January 28th, 2009 - 9:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Serena WilliamsMelbourne, Jan 28 (IANS) Jelena Dokic reveals that it was a tennis match that reignited her passion to play the game.The one time World no. 4, Dokic went into depression after a fractured relation with her father and had nearly quit tennis.

But she acknowledges that thereafter something extraordinary happened. Overweight, depressed and four weeks into retirement, Dokic saw a tennis match on the television in her lounge.

“I said to myself, ‘I have to try and come back,” Dokic was quoted as saying in Sydney Morning Herald. “It was mid-year, French Open, Wimbledon time. It was hard. I’d gained a lot of weight. I was completely out of shape. To be able to comeback in less than 18 months and play with the best, is extraordinary.”

Dokic’s performance at the Australian Open was likened to “Rocky with a racquet”. She nearly had world No.3 Dinara Safina on the ropes, and knocked out seeded opponents Anna Chakvetadze (No.17), Caroline Wozniacki (11) and Alisa Kleybanova (29).

Serena divulges her secret motivation techniques

Serena Williams is always known to be one of the toughest fighter on court. And she proved it once again with her three-set win over Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarter-final.

The Russian served for the match in the second set, yet Serena, as she so often does, prevailed.

Asked what was she thinking while trailing, Serena said: “I was thinking, ‘Okay, if you lose, you’re going to fly all the way back to Florida’, how uncomfortable that would be. That motivated me to do a little better,” said Williams, who could probably afford a private jet if needed but clearly likes to punish herself with self-imposed poverty.

“I would not necessarily want to go back on a 16-hour flight. I wouldn’t allow myself to have the emergency row either. I would be so mad, I would have to sit like the last row, the tightest row. That way, I wouldn’t do it again.”

Channel 7 wooed Dokic’s father to Australia

Jelena Dokic’s notorious father Damir said Channel 7 is trying to bring him to Australia.

Damir says the television network offered to pay all his bills and clear away obstacles to his travel.

“They phoned me yesterday and offered to bring me to Melbourne and they would pay all the costs for the trip,” he was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph.

“But my passport has expired. The journalist from Channel 7 heard that and they contacted the Australian Embassy in Belgrade and my passport and visa were finished in two hours.

“Then it was arranged that I would travel to Melbourne.”

He was ready to travel then discovered that tournament officials would stop him attending the Open, he said.

“I wanted to call back Channel 7 and confirm that I’m going to come to Melbourne,” Dokic told Serbian newspaper Alo.

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