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jd4eva
Feb 12th, 2003, 08:00 PM
http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=7865&bannerregion=

In what may be a move to assert authority over her own career and diminish the influence of domineering dad Damir Dokic, 10th-ranked Jelena Dokic has hired Heinz Gunthardt as her new coach.

Gunthardt, who won five ATP Tour titles and holds the Swiss Davis Cup records for most years played (15) and most ties played (30), may be best known for his work as Steffi Graf's former coach. In his eight years working with Graf, Gunthardt helped coach her to 12 Grand Slam titles.

The 19-year-old Dokic, whose father has been listed as her official coach since she turned pro in 1998, asked Gunthardt to take over as her coach in a meeting in Monaco in December. Gunthardt told writer Richard Yallop of The Australian that he imposed no restrictions on Damir Dokic's influence in accepting the position.

"I've never met the father, or talked to him," Gunthardt said. "But it's obvious Jelena is maturing."

According to Gunthardt, his contract calls him to work for Dokic for 25 weeks this season. The pair will assess their relationship after the initial 25-week period.

In their first tournament together, Dokic reached the Open Gaz de France quarterfinals in Paris last week where she was crushed by Eleni Daniilidou, 6-1, 6-3.

Today, the sixth-seeded Dokic suffered a 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 setback to Ai Sugiyama at the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp.

While Dokic, has been ranked as high as No. 4, she has shown little variety in playing a predictable game based on her fast, flat strokes and sporadic serve that can often crash into the net. The 2000 Wimbledon semifinalist has shown the ability to volley and her hiring of Gunthardt may be an indication she's intent on developing her game.

"l don't yet know her well enough to be able to judge her potential," Gunthardt said. "It will take me at least three to four months until I have a vague idea of what she is capable of."

Though Damir Dokic has been his daughter's primary coach throughout her professional career, Jelena has worked briefly with other coaches. After emigrating to Australia from Serbia in 1994, Dokic worked with former Australian Davis Cup coach Tony Roche. She also played on Tennis Australia junior teams for a time and made an appearance on the Australian Fed Cup team, which was coached by Lesley Bowrey.

Widely regarded as one of the top teenage prospects in the world after moving to Australia, Dokic soon found herself receiving as much media attention for her father's antics off the court than for her play on the court.

The demonstrative Damir Dokic was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct after being ejected from a grass-court tournament in Birmingham, England three years ago and protesting his ejection by lying down in a busy street in front of the tournament.

An allegedly drunken Damir Dokic was kicked out of Wimbledon in 2000 after a nonsensical tirade in which he allegedly made disparaging remarks about the royal family and made a lewd gesture at a female observing his outburst before grabbing a journalist's cell phone and smashing it to the ground. Despite her father's volatile outbursts, Jelena Dokic reached the Wimbledon semifinals before falling to Lindsay Davenport.

Two months after his Wimbledon outburst, the former boxer battled security at the U.S. Open. Upset at what he perceived as the high cost of a $10 piece of salmon (despite the fact that he used free food vouchers to pay for his meal at no cost), Damir Dokic berated a server in the player's restaurant, argued loudly with U.S. Open security staff and was finally escorted off the grounds at Flushing Meadows and banned from the Open for the duration of the tournament.

At a press conference outside his hotel the next day, Damir Dokic blasted then-WTA Tour CEO Bart McGuire, calling him a "communist." The WTA subsequently suspended Mr. Dokic from the Tour for six months.

Shortly before the 2001 Australian Open, Jelena Dokic renounced her Australian citizenship and has represented Yugoslavia ever since. Last month, Damir Dokic said he was considering seeking asylum for his family in Great Britain.


Hopefully, we'll start seeing results soon :)

Good move for Jelena :D

jd4eva
Feb 12th, 2003, 08:05 PM
Another article: http://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0,8659,5971850-23216,00.html

Dokic hires Graf's ex-coach
By Richard Yallop
February 12, 2003

JELENA DOKIC has taken a further step to free herself from the influence of her father Damir by hiring Steffi Graf's former coach Heinz Guenthardt.

Dokic approached Guenthardt, who coached Graf for the final eight years of her career, when she won 12 grand slam titles, in December in Monaco, where they both live.

Guenthardt, a former Swiss Davis Cup player, said he had imposed no conditions on Dokic about her father not interfering in her tennis. Damir is understood to be living in Serbia, while his daughter, who has a relationship with Brazilian Formula One driver Enrique Bernoldi, lives in Monaco.

"I've never met the father, or talked to him," Guenthardt said. "But it's obvious Jelena is maturing."

The Dokic family left Australia in 2001 after Damir took exception to persistent criticism of his behaviour. He had been involved in incidents at Wimbledon and the US Open, and was eventually banned from WTA tournaments.

His final outburst in Australia came at the 2001 Open when he complained the draw had been rigged against his daughter. She has not played in the past two Australian Opens.

Dokic played her first tournament under Guenthardt's supervision last week in Paris, where she lost in the quarter-finals to Greece's Eleni Daniilidou. She trained with Guenthardt for two weeks beforehand, but her practice was disrupted by illness.

In October Dokic asserted her independence by banning her parents from the players' area at a tournament in Linz, Austria. Another sign of her growing independence is her relationship with former Arrows driver Bernoldi.

Guenthardt said the initial agreement was for him to work with Dokic for 25 weeks this year. He said it was too early to assess her potential.

Dokic emigrated with her family to Australia in 1994. She played in several Tennis Australia junior squads, and under coach Lesley Bowrey made an early entry into the Australian Fed Cup team. She turns 20 in April.

"l don't yet know her well enough to be able to judge her potential," Guenthardt said. "It will take me at least three to four months until I have a vague idea of what she is capable of."

*JR*
Feb 12th, 2003, 08:47 PM
This is not "new" in that Heinz has had CKB's Uber-Babe since early Dec. Based on the results so far, they do have their work cut out for them. As the contract originally was only through this April, it should be interesting. (Frankly, I expect it 2B extended if they seem to gel; when Momo hired Loic Courteau last year, it was short term, then for the balance of '02, then '03 was tacked on later).

Havok
Feb 12th, 2003, 10:22 PM
well she has him for 25 weeks, which is a little more than half a year. but Jelena Dokic said that she has him for 25 tournaments to take him along with. so i dunno what their conytract really is. anyways, we can only get positive results from her because she's stepping in the right direction

Car Key Boi
Feb 12th, 2003, 10:26 PM
to tell the troof, i'm a little concerned about this Heinz dude and if things keep going the way they are, the Uber-babe ought to give him the shitcan!

it's not just the losing, she's looking like shit! and i'm sure this Heinz dude is to blame for that with this weight reduction regime

the uber-babe is starting to look a little skanked out and if she gets any worse, she's gonna be a serious candidate for M.I.L.F.

- Car Key Boi :(

SuperG
Feb 12th, 2003, 11:13 PM
they have a contract for 25 weeks (not 25 tournaments), but they must not be in a row.....
if Jelena plays some "medium-important" tournament, heinz wont go with her, but sometimes they will just stay at monaco (where they both life) and practice for a week or two........

*JR*
Feb 12th, 2003, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by SuperG
they have a contract for 25 weeks (not 25 tournaments), but they must not be in a row.....
if Jelena plays some "medium-important" tournament, heinz wont go with her, but sometimes they will just stay at monaco (where they both life) and practice for a week or two........ If Coachmeister wants to keep his Steffi derived status intact, he better get his ass on the road with her for every event till things are clicking! And the Boi has a point about the weight: Steffi was slim and played great, but one size fits all doesn't cut it. For example, Serena isn't slim like Venus, but both seem to have kept the right physique for themselves as individuals.

2284
Feb 12th, 2003, 11:28 PM
It takes time to learn to work with a new coach. Give the guy a chance!...and good luck to Jelena

*JR*
Feb 13th, 2003, 12:31 AM
Originally posted by untitled2284
It takes time to learn to work with a new coach. Give the guy a chance!...and good luck to Jelena Yes, I agree and posted as such early in the week. I continue to feel that re. Heinz. And, I guess to 2284: SIZE MATTERS! :p

jd4eva
Feb 13th, 2003, 05:15 AM
Well Heinz feels that one of the things he sees Jelena having to improve is her movement, so maybe her losing her excess weight is a start.

SuperG is right, they are working for 25 weeks, although not consecutive.

They are now going to spend 2 weeks in Monte Carlo training.

Chance
Feb 13th, 2003, 05:41 AM
what's her next tournament?

jd4eva
Feb 13th, 2003, 06:54 AM
Indian Wells

Jelena is playing a reduced schedule this year, she's spending the next 2 weeks in Monte Carlo/Florida with Heinz working on her game.

martinafan
Feb 13th, 2003, 07:13 AM
I really do like the fact that Jelena has gotten herself a coach...even though he won't be travelling with her permanently (which i think would be the best thing), just having a coach for 25 weeks of the year - even if they're not consecutive, HAS to be better than not having one at all, like she did last year.

I really hope that they do gel together and that jelena starts having some better results, so that they both decide to make this a permanent thing. I think this could be the best thing that Jelena does.

BTW - any idea what her commitments are for after Miami? I hope she's not going to defend her title at Sarasota and will take some time off for practice....i really hope that she is deadly serious about reducing her schedule....29 tournaments is WAY too much for her...i think something like 22 would be ideal for her.

jd4eva
Feb 13th, 2003, 07:23 AM
At the moment she only plans to play Charleston, Berlin and Rome, with either Amelia Island or Warsaw added in :)

Chance
Feb 13th, 2003, 08:11 AM
thanks jd
I was going to say it looks like Dokic is cutting back but now I'm not sure.

Aloysius
Feb 13th, 2003, 02:08 PM
Jelena learned everything about how to be a top player from Lesley Bowrey. Heinz won't impart anything new on Jelena that she doesn't already know IMO. How many players has Heinz coached apart from Steffi? Did Steffi improve under Heinz's tutelage?

King Aaron
Feb 13th, 2003, 03:16 PM
Great for Jelena. :)

She trained with Guenthardt for two weeks beforehand, but her practice was disrupted by illness.

What illness? Was it the ankle?

In my opinion she can only improve. She needs someoen to guide her and it's better off than going it by herself.

jd4eva
Feb 13th, 2003, 08:39 PM
sunset: Jelena IS cutting back her schedule. Last year she played 6 clay court events leading up to the French, this year she plays 3.

Aloysius: Well Steffi has said that she doesn't think she would achieve what she had without Heinz.

Aaron: No, Jelena had the flue. The ankle was in December. They actually started training at the start of January but the last 2 weeks was disrupted because Jelena had the flu.