Article: NO OPEN DOOR FOR DOKIC
Atricle from Melbourne Herald Sun, Thursday 1st December 2005
Jelena will have to earn Entry, Says McNamee
JELENA Dokic will not be given special favours over home-grown players at the Australian Open.
Dokic who returns to Australia at the weekend ater a three-year exile, will have to re-establish her Credentials.
Australian Open chief Executive Paul McNamee said dokic;s first option was the Open training camp wildcard playoff in three weeks.
"Jelena is going to be at the Australian Open training camp and she will be in the playoff" McNamee said.
"We wont be making any decidion on wildcards for the Australian Open until after the playoffs.
"There will be a level playing field for everyone. We will be fair with every player."
If dokic failed to win the December 16-19 playoff -- a strong possibility given she has not played since Auguest -- she would then have to reply on the generosity of the tournament organisers, who allocate eight wildcards into both the men's and women's main draw.
Three womens wildcards have already been distributed -- to Kia Pro Tour winner Casey Dellacqua, to the French tennis Federation under a reciprocal agreement and to Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova, winner of the Asian Championships/
World No. 349 Dokic will make her Australian tournament return at the canberra International from January 6-13. The even will be dokic'ss first in Australia since 2001 when her father Damir Dokic took the family overseas in a highly publicised departure.
"Jelena is a player with huge potential and will be a real drawcard for this tournament." Tennis Australia chief executive Steve Wood said.
Tennis Australia has always said that the door was open for Jelena when she felt able to return to Australia, and that time has come.
"She is now in a position to make her own decidions in live and we are happy to help her make that fresh start."
Dokic says she's ready to commit her allegiance to Australia again.
"I am an Australian, I feel like an Australian and i want to play for Australian again" Dokic said.
She is now estranged from her infamour father.
"What happened before i had no control over. The decidions weren't make by me", Dokic said.
"This is a decision i am making.
I wanted to go back before but i was a little adraid of what reception i'd recieve.Everyone will have their opinion and i cannot know how much will be positive or negative, but i owe alot to so many people in Australia. It is where i belong."
Dokic hopes to play in Auckland from January 2-8
"I haven't been ready to play before, but ive been training hard and recently and though i know it wont come back easily for me. I have nothing to lose," Dokic said.
"Im not expected to beat anyone, no one knows what to expect from me -- I don't know what to expect from myself but i'm fine with that."
"I just feel happy and good about my life and im hungry to compete back at the level I used to."