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Mattographer
Jun 25th, 2003, 03:20 PM
Dokic doesn't know rules

June 25, 2003

JELENA DOKIC has less than a month to decide whether to play tennis for Australia again or miss out on next year's Olympics altogether.

Dokic, the world No.12, must make herself available to play next month's Fed Cup World Group playoffs or find herself without a country to represent in Athens.

Under International Tennis Federation rules, players must be ranked in the top four of their country and been available to play Fed Cup in two of the three previous years.

Dokic has not played Fed Cup for Australia since 2000 and has yet to represent Yugoslavia, despite resuming her nationality in 2001 after a series of run-ins between her father-coach Damir and Australian tennis officials.

As Yugoslavia – now called Serbia-Montenegro – has no more matches this year, Dokic has missed out on representing it at the 2004 Olympics and Australia is her only hope.

"Basically she has a few weeks to decide. If she doesn't make herself available for Australia in July, she'll have missed the boat," an ITF spokesman said.

Since parting company with Damir earlier this year, Dokic has shown signs of regretting leaving Australia and has openly canvassed the idea of playing for it again.

Her entry in the WTA handbook still lists playing in the 2000 Olympics, where she made the semi-finals, as her most memorable experience.

But she appeared not to understand the rules today when she said she has until next year to decide.

Speaking after her first round win over Elena Baltacha, Dokic ruled out playing Fed Cup and said her priority is to return to the world top five.

"I'm definitely not planning on playing Fed Cup. And the Olympics, they're a year and-a-half away. So I'll think about the Olympics when it comes to that," she said.

Asked if she had to play Fed Cup twice to qualify, Dokic said she thought the rules had changed.

"They decided not to have to play Fed Cup ties before the Olympics. I can make up my mind at the last minute," she said.

But the ITF spokesman said she is wrong.

"She has to make her mind up in a matter of weeks," he said.

AAP

Gowza
Jun 25th, 2003, 03:28 PM
i hope someone tells her. although i don't know how much good she'll be for us if she is still playing like this. i think molik and stosur are our best players at the moment.