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FERLKE
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:14 AM
30 November 2005

Jelena Dokic will make her competitive return to Australian tennis at the Richard Luton Properties Canberra International in January 2006.


The former top five player, who represented Australia in the Olympics, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup, will return to Australia for the first time since 2001 when her father took the family overseas in a highly publicised departure.


Jelena Dokic begins her return to Australian tennis with the
Richard Luton Properties Canberra International.


Still only 22 years old, Jelena has been granted a wildcard to compete in the Canberra tournament following a two-year period of changes in her personal life which has seen her ranking freefall from a career high of world No.4 in August 2002 to its current mark of 349.


"Jelena is a player with huge potential and will be a real drawcard for this tournament," said Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood. "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 decisions in life and we are happy to help her make that fresh start."


Jelena was among a number of quality players announced at the launch of the 2006 Richard Luton Properties Canberra International in Canberra today, which was attended by the ACT Minister for Sport, Ted Quinlan.


Among the other major announcements unveiled by Steve Wood to assist the growth of the tournament over the next few years today were:



RICHARD LUTON PROPERTIES re-signing as the naming rights sponsor for the 2006 event;


The Introduction of three night sessions, including a Night Final on Friday 13th January;


A new Kids Day with free entry to children aged 16 years and under on Tuesday 10 January – day three of main draw;


The tournament moving up to Tier IV status, accompanied by prize money increasing from US$110,000 to US$145,000;


Rebranding the tournament to include the word ‘International’;


A new Tournament Director, Gerard Corradini, General Manager of Tennis ACT; and


Five players ranked in the top 50 in the world.
The 2006 RICHARD LUTON PROPERTIES Canberra International takes place at the National Sports Club, Canberra from 8-13 January 2006.


Dual WTA Tour title winner in 2005 Lucie Safarova is headed for Canberra in January.


The international Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event is a joint initiative between Tennis Australia and Tennis ACT, and forms part of the "Road to the Australian Open" which helps the world’s top players prepare for the first Grand Slam of the new season.

Steve Wood added, "Tennis Australia remains committed to bringing top level tennis to each of the major cities in the lead up to the Australian Open.


"Today’s announcement of Richard Luton Properties continuing its investment in this event, coupled with the funding commitment through the Event Assistance Program (Australian Capital Tourism Corporation), has meant that Tennis Australia and Tennis ACT can ensure the continued growth of this important international tennis event."


New Tournament Director, Gerard Corradini, said "The Richard Luton Properties Canberra International has again assembled a quality international field, with Jelena’s return introducing an additional attraction for fans.


Top 50 players announced today include: Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues (34), Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli (40), Roberta Vinci of Italy (41), former Australian Open junior champion Shahar Peer of Israel (45), and Czech Republic teenager Lucie Safarova (47) who won two WTA Tour titles this year.

Anabel Medina Garrigues will be amongst the favourites in Canberra.


Other notable players include: Meghann Shaughnessy (66), the 2003 champion, returning for her third year in Canberra, Croatian Karolina Sprem (65) – the last player to defeat Venus Williams at Wimbledon – and Greek Eleni Daniilidou (70).


Corradini added, "The Management Team has scheduled three night sessions including a Night Final, improved corporate entertaining area, and free entry for children aged 16 years and under on Tuesday 10 January, to improve the spectator experience at this international tournament."

Additional night sessions

The popular night session introduced in January 2005 will increase to three at the 2006 tournament, with night sessions commencing at 7.00pm on Wednesday 11 January, Thursday 12 January and the Final on Friday 13 January.

Kids’ Day

As part of Tennis Australia’s aims to grow the game, and to help expose our next generation of budding tennis champions to the sport played at the highest level, a new Kids’ Day is being introduced with free entry to children aged 16 years and under on Tuesday 10 January – day three of main draw.

Part of the ‘Road to the Australian Open’

The Richard Luton Properties Canberra International is one of six tournaments that form the ‘Road to the Australian Open’. In October it was announced that a $1 million advertising campaign would run on the Seven Network promoting the sport’s biggest heroes and include a pointer to ticket sales for all the tournaments. In addition, each of the tournaments has adopted the Australian Open tagline of ‘Bring It On!’.

Main Sponsors

Richard Luton Properties have signed up as naming rights sponsor for the second year. At the same time, the ACT Government, through the Australian Capital Tourism Corporation, has a three-year agreement to support the tournament through the Event Assistance Program.

Tickets

Tickets for the 2006 tournament are on sale now, available through Tennis ACT on (02) 6247 8804, with intimate Centre Court setting enabling fans to get a great view of the world class action.

Corporate Packages

Packages are available for the entire main draw or as a 3-day Finals package - packages include corporate hospitality through Rydges Capital Hill. To book your premium reserved seats contact Steve Whelan on (02) 6231 7598.



Jelena Dokic Fact File:

Born: Belgrade, Yugoslavia, April 12 1983

Immigrated to Australia: 1994

Fed Cup: Played for Australia from 1999-2000 (win/loss record 9:2)

Australian Olympic Team 2000 (semifinalist – lost to Monica Seles in Bronze Medal Match)

Won Hopman Cup for Australia in 1999 playing alongside Mark Philippoussis

Career high singles ranking: No.4 (August 19 –September 22, 2002)

Career-high doubles ranking: No.10 (February 4 – March 31, April 8 – May 5, 2002

Current singles ranking: 349


http://www.tennisaustralia.com.au/pages/article.aspx?id=6042&articleid=ArticleID20051130111749&pageId=9953&HandlerId=1

FERLKE
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:27 AM
Good luck Jelly!!! :hearts: :kiss: :bounce:

Anniemal
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:30 AM
I hope she can start off the year on a positive note!

Tennace
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:31 AM
Good for Jelena but I wont be too excited until she plays since shes bailed out the last couple years. Please play Jelena!

marmite1
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:31 AM
Good luck jelena :yeah:

F-R-E-A-K
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:36 AM
Good Luck Jelena :yeah:

SpikeyAidanm
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:36 AM
Good luck Jelena :D can't wait to see you in Melb!

Berlin_Calling
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:37 AM
go J!

PointBlank
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:37 AM
Wow. Canberra has good players this year.

Good luck Jelena.

martinafan
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:54 AM
Come on Jelena!

WOW! Martina and Jelena back next year - my two faves....i'm in heaven :hearts:

Tati & Dani
Nov 30th, 2005, 01:51 AM
Goodluck :D

cartmancop
Nov 30th, 2005, 02:08 AM
Hope the move to Aus. turns out well for her. She's too talented to just go away & waste what could have been.

Sharapova's_Boy
Nov 30th, 2005, 02:15 AM
Good luck Jelena. :hearts:

WhatTheDeuce
Nov 30th, 2005, 02:19 AM
Ajmo Jelena & Karolina! :rocker2: :hearts: :bounce:

Derek.
Nov 30th, 2005, 02:24 AM
Jelena! :D and Kiki too! :banana:

charmedRic
Nov 30th, 2005, 03:30 AM
Allez.

Wannabeknowitall
Nov 30th, 2005, 03:38 AM
If she actually has gotten better in the last 3 months, then she has a chance to go far in this tourni.
Just keep the ball in play Jelena. Keep the ball in play.

spiceboy
Nov 30th, 2005, 06:52 AM
This means she's granted a MD WC for Melbourne as well

Munchen
Nov 30th, 2005, 07:06 AM
Good Luck Jelena :)

She can still not participate for Australia in Fed Cup until 2008. :(

Will she be able to participate in Beijing though? :bounce:

Rising Sun
Nov 30th, 2005, 08:29 AM
No surprise Jelena got a WC. :rolleyes:

CooCooCachoo
Nov 30th, 2005, 08:32 AM
Not surprising. Let's hope she uses it to her full potential.

DutchieGirl
Nov 30th, 2005, 08:40 AM
:lol: First time i'm glad that Misa isn't playing Canberra this year (and not coz I don't want her to play Jelena, but coz I would have gone to Canberra, and then possibly have seen Jelena :tape: ). ;)

jonny84
Nov 30th, 2005, 08:58 AM
That's not a bad entry list for Canberra.

It's great that we see Jelena Dokic back on the WTA tour!!!

KimC&MariaSNo1's
Nov 30th, 2005, 09:16 AM
i hope she can have a good start and make the semis or even win it heres hoping

New
Nov 30th, 2005, 10:58 AM
Welcome back Jelena!!:bounce:

Jose-Luis
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:29 PM
Karolina will play in Canberra. :hearts: :smooch:
Good luck. :kiss: :hug:

JulesVerne
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:37 PM
Does her recent on court form justify a wild card for the AO.

bee
Nov 30th, 2005, 12:41 PM
Hard to believed she is only 22 years old...
Hoped she does well on her comback...

A'DAM
Nov 30th, 2005, 01:18 PM
Good Luck Jelena!!! Hope you will be on top again!!! :)

©@®eLess
Nov 30th, 2005, 03:41 PM
Good Luck Jelena :)

She can still not participate for Australia in Fed Cup until 2008. :(

Will she be able to participate in Beijing though? :bounce:


i think she can. She played for Serbia Fed Cup in 2004 + 3 years = 2007

but question is will she be ranked enough to play it and if she will play in 2007 at all.

Let's hope she does after all

daniela86
Nov 30th, 2005, 04:17 PM
Good luck Jelena :D :rocker: :rocker2: :rocker: Take the title!! :kiss:

DutchieGirl
Dec 1st, 2005, 05:04 AM
:rolleyes: thats pathetic...

:lol: No just the truth. (for me). Plus it was a semi-joke... :rolleyes: