Former tennis player Jelena Dokic says she came close to taking her own life


Alongside a closeup photo of herself, where she is red faced and teary eyed as if she had been crying, Dokic wrote that on April 28 she came close to taking her own life.

“Will never forget the day. Everything is blurry. Everything is dark,” she wrote.

“No tone, no picture, nothing makes sense … just tears, sadness, depression, anxiety and pain.”

The 39-year-old also explained on Instagram how she had been experiencing “constant feelings of sadness and pain” and that getting professional help saved her life.

CNN has contacted Dokic’s representatives about her post.

“The last six months have been tough. It’s been constant crying everywhere,” she added. “From hiding in the bathroom when at work to wipe away my tears so that nobody sees it to the unstoppable crying at home within my four walls has been unbearable.”

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Dokic, who has worked as a broadcaster for Australian media since retiring in 2014, won six WTA Tour titles and reached a career-high position of fourth in the world rankings.

She reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2000 and the quarterfinals of the French Open and Australian Open in 2002 and 2009 respectively.

In her Instagram post, she said she is “on the road to recovery.”

“Some days are better than others and sometimes I take a step forward and then a step back but I’m fighting and I believe I can get through this,” Dokic said.

In her autobiography “Unbreakable,” she detailed allegations of physical, verbal, and mental abuse she says her father inflicted on her throughout her tennis career. The New York Times reported that he denied at least one allegation of physical abuse against his daughter when she was a teenager.

“It’s a very difficult subject that I talk about in the book, not just my father and the whole amount of abuse that went on from the age of six, pretty much, for over 20 years,” Dokic said in an interview with CNN in 2018.

“I battled depression for a very long time, almost 10 years, and I almost committed suicide at one stage.”

Dokic, who was born in Croatia before her family fled to Serbia and then Australia as war broke out in the Balkans, told CNN she had shared her experience in the hope it would “raise awareness of abuse, domestic violence, in sport and also outside of sport.”

At the time, Dokic’s father Damir did not respond to CNN’s request for comment. He told Serbian daily Blic in 2009 that “there is no child that was not beaten by parents, same with Jelena.”

There was an outpouring of support in the comments section of Dokic’s post, including from the tennis community.

“I’m here for you and only a phone call away!” wrote former Australian player Mark Philippoussis, while French star Alizé Cornet added: “You can do this Jelena … we love you!”

Dokic ended her post with a reminder to others who are also suffering to get help, encouraging them not to be ashamed.

“I am writing this because I know I am not the only one struggling. Just know that you are not alone.

“I am not going to say that I am doing great now but I am definitely on the road to recovery.”

She reminded people that it’s okay to feel sad, but you have to keep fighting back.

“Love you all and here is to fighting and surviving to live and see another day. I will be back stronger than ever.”

If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, here are ways to help
If you live in the US and are having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK) for free and confidential support. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For crisis support in Spanish, call 888-628-9454
TrevorLifeline, a suicide prevention counseling service for the LGBTQ community, can be reached at 866-488-7386
Befrienders Worldwide connects users to the nearest emotional support center for the part of the world they live in.

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