Hinds: We should have done more for Jelena Dokic

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 08:03:35 AM. Anyone who watched Jelena Dokic's tragedy unfold must concede a harsh truth or consign the next endangered prodigy to the same fate, writes Richard Hinds.
Photo: Surely someone could have stopped the abuse endured by a young Jelena Dokic. (Reuters: Tim Wimborne) Why didn't someone do something? Since interviews with former tennis champion Jelena Dokic and extracts from her biography Unbreakable hit the headlines, it is the first and most obvious question. The whippings with a leather belt after poor training sessions. The taunts of "slut" and "whore" by an enraged father to his 11-year-old daughter after she had lost some insignificant under-age tennis tournament. The kicking and hair pulling and other horrendous acts of abuse that are shocking, yet also sadly unsurprising to anyone who has been close to the sometimes brutal world of teenage tennis. Surely someone knew? Surely someone could have stopped this? Why didn't we save young Jelena Dokic? The answer is at once simple and gut-wrenchingly complex. It is also the source of anguish — and, I suspect, some misgivings — for Australian tennis authorities who must reconcile their inability, and perhaps even unwillingness, to intervene in an awful situation. Tennis Australia (TA) knew something was wrong. Of course they did. Photo: Damir Dokic's behaviour created concerns in the sports world. (Reuters) As a sports writer who regularly covered the grand slam tournaments throughout Dokic's career, we all knew something was wrong with the Dokic family. Even if our suspicions did not touch the surface of the horrendous abuse now revealed. The erratic, often drunken public...Read more
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