Former Australian tennis player Jelena Dokic has opened up about abuse she dealt with from her father Damir in an excerpt published by News Corp from her upcoming book.
Jelena — who was once ranked as high as fourth in the world — revealed that she suffered physical abuse growing up whenever her father thought she had unperformed on the court.
Dokic revealed the allegations in her new book, Unbreakable, written with Jessica Halloran.
In the book, she says she was once knocked unconscious during a beating from her father, was regularly beaten with a belt, and once kicked out of the hotel room she was paying for her after losing a semi-final at Wimbledon.
She also spoke of verbal abuse from her father, who had a reputation as a difficult person to deal with on the tennis circuit during Jelena’s career.
He was evicted from Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open for various offences, including smashing a journalist’s phone and abusing staff over fish prices.
He also served a year in prison for threatening to bomb the Australian embassy in Serbia, and once admitted to hitting his daughter in the Serbian press.
“If I was ever a little bit more aggressive towards Jelena, it was for her sake,” Damir Dokic told the Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti.
“When I was young, I was beaten by my parents and I am now thankful to them for that, because that helped me to become the right person. Anyway, is there any parent who didn’t do that at least once or twice — of course, for the sake of their children?”
Dokic’s book Unbreakable will be available from tomorrow, and she will feature in an interview on Fox Sports on Wednesday evening.