Tennis star was ‘kicked unconscious’ days before US Open

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Following this week’s harrowing story of a teenager suffering abuse on a tennis court, former professional player Jelena Dokic has opened up on her own horrific experiences. Dokic, a former world No.1 junior player, burst on to the scene at the age of just 16 and made it to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2002.

She went on to win six WTA titles during her career and peaked at a high of No.4 in the world two decades ago. Dokic was saddened after witnessing the footage not only because of what the child went through, but it also evoked bad memories of her own, one of which occurred when she was due to play at the US Open.

“It was just sickening to watch, as someone who’s been through it,” Dokic told “I was actually kicked until I was unconscious a week before the US Open when I was 16 and it wasn’t the only time. Unfortunately, what happens behind closed doors is even worse.”

Thankfully she was able to recover and play at Flushing Meadows, but lost in the first round and the memories of that incident continued to haunt her. Earlier this week the clip was shared on Twitter of a young girl struck round the back of the head and kicked by a man, reported to be her father.

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The daughter then attempted to sit down on a bench beside the clay court before being dragged to the ground by her hair whilst shouting. Reports in Serbia have suggested that the father, from China, has been arrested and charged.

He could be hit with a prison sentence if he is convicted of his domestic violence charges. The man – referred to as W.L throughout the reports – did not deny that he was behind the attack, though attempted to justify his actions by referring to how different the culture is in China.

An account of the case stated: “He justified his actions by saying that his daughter refused to continue training on the critical day and that is why he wanted to return her to the field. All this while pointing out that it was not his intention to hurt her and that it is a tradition in China to respect hierarchy and that he believes that he did the right thing because it is allowed in China.”

Soon, the tennis community became aware of the sickening clip and shared it to raise further awareness. As the clip was filmed in Belgrade, Serbia, some individuals called for Novak Djokovic to intervene and do what he can.

The likes of Pam Shriver, former doubles world No 1, tweeted: “OMG we all need to report, and press charges against this kind of horrible abuse. Let’s ask for Novak Djokovic to help behind the scenes. We all need to work together to stop abuse. Igor thanks for doing your part.”

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