Tennis: Dokic enjoys her fame

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The Independent Online
ONE DAY after the victory that changed her life, Australia's Jelena Dokic teamed up with Tina Pisnik of Slovenia to win their first round doubles match at Wimbledon yesterday.

The duo, one of two qualifying pairs for the women's doubles, beat Eva Melicharova and Helena Vildova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-2 on Court No 15.

Dokic, who beat the top seed and world No 1 Martina Hingis 6-2, 6-0 on Tuesday, beamed from ear to ear throughout the match after being mobbed by photographers and autograph seekers when she took the court .

"Quite a few people obviously knew who I was - it was quite a bit different than a few days ago," she said. Asked what she had done to relax after the upset, she replied: "I'm not relaxing. I'm not finished yet."

Dokic's Washington-based agent, Ivan Brixi, said: "You can't choose a better place to beat a No. 1 player than at a Grand Slam." Asked to put a price on the victory, he said, "I don't think you can. It would be ridiculous."

Brixi said Dokic and her parents, Damir and Liliana, had been careful about linking their daughter to sponsorship deals and had turned down proposals from hotels, restaurant chains, and soft drinks companies.

"With somebody like her, a top player and a top prospect, you have to look for the image, that fits," Brixi said.

Damir Dokic said he always knew his daughter could do it. "I told Jelena all along she could beat Martina," he said. "In fact, I was so relaxed I was in bed by nine that night . I left Jelena watching TV, which was probably the best preparation."

He was almost silent at courtside on Tuesday, "because of what happened in Birmingham," he explained. In that tournament earlier this month he was ejected for cheering too loudly and abusing officials. Outside he was arrested for blocking traffic and jumping on a car bonnet.

"She's very ambitious but at the moment we don't know how good she is," he said. "I don't want to put extra pressure on her."