[b]Jelena's not penniless or getting married: Damir[/b]
Jelena's not penniless or getting married: Damir
November 5, 2006
Jelena Dokic ... "not poor, not rich"
She's docked: new port of call for Jelena but she may give Australia wide berth
DAMIR Dokic has huffed, puffed and blown down rumours that his tennis-playing daughter Jelena is getting married or has been been left "desperate and penniless" by her Croatian boyfriend Tin Bikic.
The maddest tennis dad of them all says the world No.615 is training at a camp in Germany before her likely return to Australia to compete this summer. He's also still keen to appear on Dancing With The Stars.
"No, no marriage, I know this," Damir told The Sun-Herald from his home in Serbia.
"She is not getting married. She is playing tennis in Germany and wants to go back to Australia to play.
"She hopes for wildcards in Australia. She wants to be in the Australian Open. She will try to qualify if she has to.
"She has been injured but she is not giving up and she is not going to be a wife. She wants to be successful again in her tennis and she will be."
Jelena, the Belgrade-born product of the Australian tennis system who reached the world No.4 ranking before fleeing the country after a supposedly rigged Australian Open draw in 2001, qualified for the 2006 event in Melbourne through the wildcard play-off system.
Damir said he and his previously estranged daughter "were speaking again". He was sketchy about the details but his 23-year-old daughter is known to be working with Martin Ruthner at an academy run by noted Croatian coach and former player Niki Pilic in Oberschleissheim, near Munich.
Contrasting reports last week suggested she was either planning to marry Bikic or had split from him and been left "desperate and penniless". Devoid of major sponsors and the kind of prizemoney she used to take for granted, Dokic will have to dip into her own pocket if she ventures to Australia.
Unlike last year, when flights and accommodation were taken care of, a change in Tennis Australia policy means achievements will be rewarded instead of participation.
"She is not poor," Damir said. "But she is not rich."
Dokic won the Australian Open wildcard play-off last December, the first player to have done so while wearing tracksuit pants.
She lost in the first round to France's Virginie Razzano and a seemingly imminent career resurrection had gone up in smoke.
Since failing to qualify for Wimbledon in June, she's played only one satellite event, at Darmstadt in Germany, where she reached the quarter-finals.
Damir was approached by Channel Seven last year to appear on Dancing With The Stars.
He was offered a place to live in Melbourne and the use of a car throughout filming of the show.
He was eager to participate but negotiations fell apart. He wouldn't mind starting them again. "I dance good," he said. "Very good."