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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 07:36 AM   #1
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Is opportunistic Dokic worth the aggravation?

Is opportunistic Dokic worth the aggravation?
By Linda Pearce
April 22 2003
The Age

So Jelena Dokic fancies playing for Australia again, more than two years after she last deigned to appear at Melbourne Park, waving the Yugoslav flag. The surprise and shame is not so much in the latest case of Dokic opportunism, but in Tennis Australia's clamour to acquiesce.

Self-interest is a common thread among sportspeople internationally, and the lure of a second Olympics, next year in Athens, is clearly irresistible for Dokic, who has just discovered she must represent Australia or no one at all. But is Australia so desperate for a top-20 woman player that it is willing to roll over and play doormat? Apparently so.

It was only last year at Wimbledon that Dokic had to be pressed into acknowledging the Australian coaches who had assisted her development from the time she arrived in Sydney in 1994, with a limited grasp of English but exceptional commitment and determination to succeed. Lesley Bowrey, for example, had worked with Dokic for years, and for free. The grudging appreciation of Bowrey's contribution showed a dreadful lack of grace.

This is not about the national financial investment, estimated at up to $500,000, for Tennis Australia paid it willingly, and received a dedicated Fed Cup representative in return, at least for a time. The real point is that Dokic had her chances, and then some, and she - or, more particularly, her father - blew them all.

Damir Dokic is no longer coaching Jelena, who lives in Monte Carlo with her F1 driver boyfriend Enrique Bernoldi, and the split is the best thing that could have happened to a player whose ranking has slipped to No. 11 in recent months.

Molik aims to inflict pain on Spain after coming off second best again (AFP)

Budapest finalists Alicia Molik and Magui Serna will square off again when Australia takes on Spain in the Fed Cup tournament this week.

The Australian team for the world group first-round match in Tarragona, Spain, on April 26, will be led by Nicole Pratt and Molik.

Serna, who has won back-to-back titles in Portugal and Hungary, will spearhead the Spanish challenge alongside veterans Conchita Martinez and Virginia Ruano Pascual.

Serna beat Molik in three sets to win at Budapest, sending Molik to two runner-up finishes in as many weeks. Molik's ranking moved up to 47, two behind Pratt (45).

The Spanish trio are all ranked higher than the two Australians, with Martinez at 25, Serna 40 and Ruano Pascual 41.

In Amelia Island in Florida, Elena Dementieva landed her first WTA singles title by rallying past second seed Lindsay Davenport 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 at the $956,600 claycourt tournament.

And in Monaco, Spanish top seed Juan Carlos Ferrero retained his Monte Carlo Masters Series crown by thrashing unseeded Argentine Guillermo Coria 6-2, 6-2.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 07:37 AM   #2
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 08:26 AM   #3
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Given the way Dokic has been playing lately, Molik might be a better bet. I don't understand how she can denounce her citizenship and still be allowed to play.Does that mean she has to reapply to be a citizen again and that means she has to have been resident in australia for two years before that can happen!
Maybe the law won't apply in her case!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 08:36 AM   #4
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she is a citizen already .... I think the article just means she turned her back on being Australian instead of actually not being a citizen anymore.

I think the main point is here: "The real point is that Dokic had her chances, and then some, and she - or, more particularly, her father - blew them all." ... She was 17, v.young, and in many European nations (such as Yugoslavia) its like the father's way goes. She respected her father, she loved him, and if her family moved what was she meant to do.

I think people are underestimating the fact of how young Jelena was, and still is ... I mean .... she is only 20! She should be frolloking in Malls not in legal battles and under all this stress ...
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 09:47 AM   #5
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Well, maybe the Australian Federation will leave Kim alone now
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 10:56 AM   #6
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Dokic recently played Molik in a tournament about 2 weeks ago and Dokic clearly had the upped hand and won a good match 6-4 6-1 or something like that.

Dokic is already an Australia Citizen she doesn`t have to re apply.
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