Jelena Dokic arrives at this week's DFS Classic in Edgbaston looking for the second WTA tournament win of her career and hoping to put the personal problems of her previous trips to Birmingham behind her.
In her two previous visits to the event, the 18-year-old Yugoslav's on-court endeavours have been overshadowed by the presence often disruptive of her father, Damir. On one occasion he disrupted traffic outside the event by lying down in the road and refusing to move. His day-to-day involvement in her career has been curtailed in the past year, however, and Dokic's results have improved.
The teenager gained her first WTA tournament win last month, with an impressive 7-6, 6-1 win over Amelie Mauresmo in the final of the Italian Open. That victory, characterised by some fine serving and a powerful array of groundstrokes, saw her break into the world's top 20.
Dokic is seeded No 2 this week, behind France's Nathalie Tauziat, the former Wimbledon finalist who is ranked No 11 in the world and still competing despite vowing to retire at the end of last season. Other representatives from the world's top 30 include last year's winner, the American Lisa Raymond, ranked No 27 in the world, and the woman she beat over three sets in last year's final, Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.
On her way to the title last year, Raymond eliminated Jennifer Capriati, who was then just embarking in earnest on what has proved to be a remarkable comeback.
Russia's Anna Kournikova had been expected to enter this year's tournament but will not be competing due to the stress fracture in her left foot, suffered in March, which also caused her to miss the French Open.
Britain's chances will be spearheaded by a trio comprising of Lucie Ahl, Julie Pullin and Lorna Woodruff.Reuse content