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Dokic: To hell with Yugoslavia

Tokyo: Jelena Dokic said Thursday that she had “better things to do” than play for Yugoslavia in the Fed Cup when she becomes eligible to do so next year.

The 19-year-old, who switched from Australian citizenship in 2001, insisted that she had no interest in Fed Cup, blaming her decision on schedule clashes and alleged mis-treatment by Yugoslav authorities.

“It’s definitely not something I want to look into and play right now. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do and I think I have better things to do than focus on the Fed Cup,” said Dokic, after winning her first match of 2003 at the Pan Pacific Open.

A report in a Belgrade daily earlier this week quoted her father and coach, Damir Dokic, as saying she would snub Yugoslavia at the Fed Cup and the 2004 Olympics after being “let down” by the new leadership.

“That was a true report,” said the world No. 8, after her 7-6, 6-4 win over Indonesian Angelique Widjaja in Tokyo. “I think it will pretty much stay like that. First of all, it doesn’t fit into my schedule, the Fed Cup. It’s right between tournaments.”

Dokic, who represented Australia in the 2000 Fed Cup, went on: “Second, I don’t think I want to play for them, you know. I wasn’t treated that greatly. It’s not in my mind to do that right now and just doesn’t fit in.”

The Dokic family emigrated to Australia in 1994, but Jelena reassumed Yugoslvian nationality two years ago, saying she did not feel welcome in her adopted country. Under rules a player must wait for three years before becoming eligible to play in the Fed Cup for a different country.

The Vecernje Novosti also reported that Damir Dokic said his family would seek political asylum in London during Wimbledon this year because of a dispute with Serbian authorities.

“Quite simply, Jelena feels she has been let down. The new Serbian authorities stood in line to take photos with her when they needed it and stabbed us in the back when they should have helped us,” he was quoted saying. “We want to stay in Serbia but we will have to leave again if things don’t change. My intention is to ask for political asylum during Wimbledon and move my family to...London.”

The Vecernje Novosti said the trouble began when authorities allegedly refused to sell land to Damir Dokic to build tennis courts and for agricultural purposes. (Reuters)

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