Tennis

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie: Jelena Dokic Is Back!

MILDURA, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25:  Jelena Dokic of Australia of Australia celebrates after a point against Stephanie Voegele of Switzerland during the Federation Cup World Group II Play-off match between Australia and Switzerland at Mildura Lawn Tennis Club on April 25, 2009 in Mildura, Australia.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
Tommy KeelerCorrespondent IIIDecember 29, 2009

The Blonde ponytail bouncing around. The fist pumps. The smile as wide as the grand canyon and of course the tears after every win. The fighting spirit and guts displayed in every match, which ignited the Australian crowd. Yes, Jelena Dokic was the story of the 2009 Australian Open.

Just a few weeks away from the 2010 tournament and she's back in Australia ready for more. I'm not sure if we can expect to see her make the same run she did last year, but I know it will be fun watching her try.

I can't wait for the 3:30 a.m. (Eastern) time starts to her matches, staying up all night and not caring if my neighbors hear me cheering. I can't wait for the electric crowds as the Aussie's go nuts for their girl. It's the main reason I'm pumped for this year's Open.

Jelena had an up and down year after Australia. Injuries and illness set her back, but she finished the year strong reaching three ITF finals, winning two of them. She is currently ranked No. 56.

After working out at an academy in France, she's back in Australia and appears to be in better shape than ever. I hope this season will be a great one for Jelena - she deserves it.

Her story is well-known and she's been through a lot in her life. Everyone loves a happy ending and to see someone come back and get to the top. I honestly believe Jelena, a former No. 4 in the World, can win slams and get to No. 1. I even think she could win in Australia this year, but time will tell.

Jelena has the firepower and certainly the grit and determination to hit with the best of them. I think she's in the prime of her career and that's why I think she will at least get back to the Top 20 this year and at least be a factor at a slam or two.

Jelena still has the big serve and her forehand is lethal. Her backhand is just as solid and her net play is good as well. She has all the tools and it's simply a matter of her staying healthy and hopefully drama-free for once.

Several years ago she battled severe depression and didn't even want to play the game, but somehow with a little help and a little love from the people around her she made it through. I can't think of a better ending to the story than if she were to win the Australian Open. It's like a fairy-tale ending in a movie. Her story should be inspirational to everyone.

Last year she showed she was back, by reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. I hope this year she shows she's back for good and I hope she stays a long, long time.

 

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