Sori if this has already been posted u guys
October 18, 2007
NOT talking, only blogging. And not playing, yet, but hitting again. A clearly unfit Jelena Dokic briefly opened her practice session to the media yesterday at Melbourne Park but decided to communicate through the website of Tennis Australia.
Dokic returned at the weekend to Melbourne, her base for the long-shot comeback attempt that must surely be her last.
This one, from a position of zero rankings points and arbitrary computer slot No. 9999, will be difficult enough. Impossible, perhaps.
Yet the lifeboat is still kindly being floated by TA, which could reasonably have lost patience long before this. Dokic got back in touch last month after declining the previous offer from player development boss, Craig Tiley, to join the AIS Pro Tour program in London in July. This is the result.
Dokic, 24, admits she faces a monumental task to do what only the likes of Jennifer Capriati and Monica Seles have done before her.
She also reveals that, despite reports of a wrist injury, she has not been playing because, "I didn't feel within myself that I was ready to play. It is better to leave it and get yourself together. That is what I have done.
"It has taken some time, but right now I feel like I am in a place, mentally and physically, that I am ready and able to compete. Now I feel in mind and body I am back and ready to give 100 per cent to train hard and try to play again."
That means coming early to Melbourne, for "a good two or three months of hard training", with the ambition of being as fit as her minimal match play will allow for the Australian Open wildcard play-off in December.
"That is the first stage then, of course, I will need lots of matches to get the mental part of my game right and to get match fit. Along the way I will set some goals, get a few matches in and maybe even play some qualifying, depending upon what opportunities I can get. I have to keep reminding myself that I am starting from scratch."
Yesterday's one-hour session with hitting partner Duje Kuvacic was on one of the four indoor practice courts still laid with the redundant Rebound Ace, before a handful of officials and media, her Croatian boyfriend Tin Bikic and manager John Giannarelli.
It is five years since Dokic peaked at No.4 on the world rankings, and more than seven since her Wimbledon semi-final. She has played just one Futures match this season, in March, and made one grand slam appearance - for a first-round loss at Melbourne Park this year - since 2004.
Yet if an unexpected repeat of her wildcard play-off success of two years ago seems Dokic's only possible route into next year's Australian Open, the 2000 champion and new mother Lindsay Davenport is also expected to make her grand slam return in Melbourne in January.
In 2001, when Dokic drew Davenport in the Open's first round, her father Damir infamously claimed the draw had been rigged.
Almost seven years later, Dokic will be starting over, with far greater challenges ahead.
And this is Jelena from her 'hit-out'(as they put it) yesterday