Wildcard competitor Jelena Dokic, ranked 187th in the world, is making her comeback even more wonderful than anyone could have imagined, and to make things better, everything’s happening at her home Grand Slam, the Australian Open. Inspired by her brilliant run and beautiful emotional post-match interviews, I decided to make this little special.
I will start with ESPN’s short story about the 25-year-old Jelena’s life and career.
At the 2009 Australian Open, the former world No.4 Dokic first defeated world No.80 Tamira Paszek, then upset No.18 Anna Chakvetadze, the amazing story continued with a defeat of No.12 Caroline Wozniacki, and No.31 Alisa Kleybanova. Dokic has reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and will next face powerful third seed Dinara Safina.
Dokic's post-match interview after her first-round win was the most emotional, as she talked about all the difficulties she went through.
Even world No.5 Ana Ivanovic, whose conqueror Alisa Kleybanova Dokic defeated in the fourth round, was moved by Dokic’s story:
Jelena has been great to watch. I admit I cried during her interview after her first round match. She has been through so much and I'm happy for her.
What follows is Dokic's interview after her second-round victory.
Dokic’s huge family problems affected her career as well as her health, as she suffered from depression for two years. The main cause of those troubles was her father Damir, who now wants to get back into his daughter’s life. However, Jelena ruled out any possibility of reconciliation with her estranged father.
It's his decision (but) I've said always my whole story with him is finished. […] It would have to be an unbelievable miracle for him to change. I don't see that happening. I have my tennis and I have my life. I want to do it that way. Knowing him, I just don't see any possibilities. We are really different and really disagree on pretty much everything.
The following video shows Dokic after her third-round win.
Even if Dokic loses to Safina in the quarterfinals, she will crack the Top 100, and her achievement at the 2009 Australian Open will be remembered as one of the best stories in the history of tennis. She made the whole world, if not cry than at least get goosebumps.
And finally, Dokic after her fourth-round match. Or maybe not finally. We may be about to witness one more shock at the Australian Open.
Jelena, all the best in the quarterfinals! I hope that ankle injury won’t hamper your game.