| Jelena’s relationship with F1 driver the cause
Sydney: The volatile father of Serb tennis star Jelena Dokic says he has severed all ties with his daughter in a feud sparked by her relationship with Brazilian racing car driver Enrique Bernoldi, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday.
“I never want to see (Jelena) again,” Dokic was quoted as telling the newspaper in a telephone interview from Belgrade. “She left us. We don’t need her,” he said, using his son, Savo, as an interpreter. “My wife speaks to her often, but I don’t want to. I am angry at her. She did things that she was not supposed to.
“We brought her back here and did everything for her until she was 19. Then she chose that idiot,” he said, referring to Bernoldi.
“Everybody says he’s a Formula One driver, but he is no one — nothing. (Jelena) supports him. My family put all the money from their house into her tennis, but it wasn’t enough,” he said.
The Dokic family emigrated to Australia from Yugoslavia in 1994 and Jelena’s rise in the tennis world under the tutelage of her father was quick. She turned professional in 1998 at 16 and got a berth on Australia’s Fed Cup team in 1999 and 2000 before representing her new country in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
But the temperamental father-daughter team just as quickly ran into controversy, with Jelena at one stage claiming the Australian Open draw was rigged against her and her dad receiving a six-month ban from the women’s tour after run-ins with authorities at Wimbledon and the US Open. Under fire from the local media, the family left Australia for Serbia in 2001 and last year Jelena left them to live with Bernoldi.
Dokic said the decision to leave Australia was his “biggest mistake”.
Jelena Dokic, currently ranked world number 11, conceded she was struggling with life away from her family after being eliminated in the third round of the German Open on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Dokic said the rest of the family were moving from Belgrade to “somewhere else in Serbia” because of problems with local officials. “When they hear my family’s name they make us pay extra for things in Belgrade because they think we have all the money,” he said.