Dokic return would save career
By John Thirsk
May 1, 2005
AFTER seeing her career ranking plummet from No4 in the world three years ago to 450, a desperate Jelena Dokic is considering a return to Australia in a bid to save her tennis career.
Dokic, 22, has told friends that Australia is a viable option as she looks at ways to stop her rankings free-fall.
Following another early loss in Portugal last week, Dokic almost made a cry for help. "I need to start at the beginning, like I did when I was 14 or 15," she said.
Australia is the place where she can receive that support and Fed Cup captain John Alexander said Dokic would be welcomed back with open arms, provided she showed a real commitment to play for her adopted country.
"Coming back to Australia for Jelena [would be] a rebirth for her," Alexander said. "It could be the making of her and the coming of age, where she started as an 11-year-old.
"Jelena must have a genuine commitment to Australia and the partnership of which our players enter to represent our nation."
Dokic left Australia in a blaze of acrimony in 2001.
She represented the country with distinction at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and no-one has ever doubted her talent after she reached the Wimbledon semi-finals that same year as a precocious 17-year-old. But the career highlights have been shrouded in controversy and the public spat that saw her leave Australia to represent Serbia-Montenegro, her country of birth.
Because she represented Serbia-Montenegro in Fed Cup tennis last year, Dokic is ineligible to play for Australia in the prestigious team competition until 2007.
But that doesn't deter Alexander, who hopes to build a strong team on the dual foundation of top-10 player Alicia Molik and Samantha Stosur. A rejuvenated Dokic would certainly add depth and versatility to the squad.
Alexander is confident that Dokic could find a home in Australia and it could kick-start her tennis after she reached a career-high of No4 in 2002.
"She has a lot of friends in Australia and this is where she learnt the game," Alexander said. "She has demonstrated the trademark of being a great fighter and with talent. The best future for her is in Australia.
"If she returns, she will eventually win her way back into the Fed Cup. But she must have the commitment."
The Sunday Telegraph
I think John Alexander is misunderstand of what Jelena Dokic try to saying because she wish to go back to challengers level like she was 14 but it's nowhere near her stated to return Australia once again!
Also, he wants to make his team looks strong within years for Fed Cup!