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Hungry Dokic sets top-10 target

Zurich: Yugoslav Jelena Dokic has set her sights on a return to the world’s top 10 following her impressive run at last week’s Swisscom Challenge.

Dokic, No. 4 in the world just over a year ago, has suffered a dismal season and had slumped to 25th in the rankings before reaching her first tier one final for two years in Zurich on Sunday.

The Yugoslav beat Belgium’s top-seed Kim Clijsters in the semis and, despite losing to new world No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne in the final, has renewed confidence after climbing to 14th in the rankings.

“I have been fourth before,” she said. “I would like to get to the top 10 first, then work from there. That is my goal at the moment and I think, if I work hard, I can get there.

“I would love to be No. 1. There have not been many No. 1 this far so, if it happens, I would be very happy with that.”

Dokic, whose career has been troubled by personal problems, changed her coach mid-year and is now working on her game in Vienna with new trainer Borna Bikic.

“Me and my coach have been through a lot, so I thank him very much for sticking by me,” she said. “I am not easy to work with, but he has put me back together — my life, my head, my tennis. Everything.

“I have a lot of problems behind me. He has had to deal with that and I think 99 per cent of people wouldn’t even start, or even try. But he stayed and hopefully he will stay further on.

“The coaching changes were a big thing for me. I am much more motivated, I am much more positive...I am much more hungry than I was before. I just had to wait for a tournament to do well.”

Dokic burst into prominence as a qualifier ranked 129 in the world at Wimbledon in 1999, beating world No. 1 Martina Hingis 6-2, 6-0 in the opening round.

She vaulted to 26th by the end of 2000, and then won five tournaments in the next two years to move further up the rankings.

But her failure to win another title since then has undermined her status.

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