Tennis star Dokic says her father abused her

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Sydney, May 4 (ANI): Australian tennis player Jelena Dokic has said that her father, Damir, physically abused her during their tumultuous relationship.

Dokic, who is estranged from her father, told how she had fled from her family in 2002 to escape the violence.

In an exclusive interview with the Fairfax magazine Sport and Style, Dokic said: "I've been through a lot worse than anybody on the tour. I can say that with confidence. When you go through stuff like that, playing a tennis match is a pretty easy thing to do. ... When I win today it's so much more satisfying."

After a rocky relationship with Australian tennis fans, Dokic won back the nation with her feisty performance in the Australian Open this year when she reached the quarterfinals after having to rely on a wildcard for entry.

Dokic, 26, went through years of mental turmoil after packing her bags and fleeing what she called "the situation".

"There was a period where there was nothing that could make me happy ... I wanted somebody's else's life."

Dokic has the support of another tennis player, Mary Pierce, who also suffered at the hands of her father, Jim. However, while Pierce has the support of her mother, Dokic was alone.

Dokic gave credit to her boyfriend, Tin Bikic, for helping her recover.

"Whatever has happened, good or bad, will always stay there. It makes you what you are. But I think it's a little bit selfish [to feel sorry for yourself] ... you see a person in a wheelchair and you can't help feel, 'Well I'm pretty lucky to be here ... we are healthy, we still have our lives ahead of us ... Then you feel lucky," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted her, as saying.

Damir Dokic hung up when contacted by the Herald. (ANI)

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