Tennis: Dokic books big date with Hingis
Friday 18 June 1999
Damir Dokic, a Serb living in Sydney, was visibly tired and emotional in Birmingham, where police said he was arrested for his own safety, then released after three hours "when he sobered up". He also acts as coach to his daughter on her travels and has been on his best behaviour this week, offering little more than congratulatory applause while sitting on the grass watching her matches with his wife and young son.
Ranked 130 in the world, Dokic did not lose a set in her qualifying ties, yesterday overcoming her bigger and older compatriot Rennae Stubbs 6-2, 7-6. She lost in the third round of the Australian Open this year to Hingis, of whom she said: "You'd like somebody not so tough, but that's the draw and that's the way it goes."
The American teenager Alexandra Stevenson justified her top seeding by beating Japan's Haruka Inoue 6-1, 6-4 in something of a catch-weight contest. At 6ft 1in, Stevenson found it frustrating playing a tiny opponent with the most delicate of sliced serves but agreed with her coach, Craig Kardon - once Martina Navratilova's mentor - that it was part of her education.
A quarter-finalist at Junior Wimbledon last year, despite being badly under the weather, she will now play Amy Frazier, ranked 23 in the world. It will be a good test for Stevenson, who seems certain to decide over the weekend that she will now turn professional, rather than taking up a place at UCLA to study her other love, acting.
Theatricals will be confined in future to the women's tour, which should still offer plenty of scope.
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