Time for me to catch up on October's news about Jelena after an exceptionally busy end to the WTA Tour season...
1. JELENA'S RANKING
As prophesied, Jelena's ranking took the plunge on 18th October, falling from #44 to #105 as the points from reaching the Zurich 2003 final came off.
Jelena is #125 on the WTA's season-ending rankings, although such a low position may be subject to minor oscillations before the actual end of the calendar-year as results continue to come in from the ITF Women's Circuit (there's a nice ITF tournament at Poitiers this coming week, featuring Iroda Tulyaganova and Maria Kirilenko).
2. JELENA RECONCILES WITH HER FATHER
On 19th October came the surprising news that Jelena has reconciled with her father Damir - something that in June she had said was unlikely ever to happen after she appointed extra security at tournaments to counter his threats to confront her (he was demanding psychiatric and drug-tests for his daughter).
Jelena has left Monte Carlo where she had lived for two years, and is now living with her family in Belgrade. She plans to kick-start her career in 2005, with Damir as her coach (having ended her coaching relationship with Borna Bikic and her romantic relationship with his brother Tino).
I am very surprised and very pleased that Jelena and Damir have mended their relationship. Family disharmony is always a sad state of affairs, and the major distraction contributing to Jelena's slump in 2004 appears to have been resolved.
However we feel about Damir as a person, we must admit that Jelena's best results came while he was coaching her. I just hope he won't try to micromanage Jelena's career as before, when he got rid of everyone in Jelena's camp whom he perceived as a threat to his complete control over her.
According to a family-friend, "Jelena has told friends she had no one else to turn to. She is a very lonely girl. She left her Monte Carlo apartment of two years last Sunday [17th October] and is no longer with her coach, Borna Bikic."
3. JELENA'S HEALTH-PROBLEMS
Jelena's last match of 2004 was at Beijing on 21st September. She pulled out of subsequent tournaments citing a right-elbow injury.
However, according to the aforementioned family-friend, "Jelena is not in good health and is facing possible dental and tonsilitis surgery."
Poor Jelena! It could be months until she is fit to play again. I wish her a full recovery.
Further reading about the Dokic family reunion:
Dr. Andrew Broad