Dokic return sparks 'nuke Sydney' threat from father

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The Independent Online

Jelena Dokic's decision to return to Australia has not gone down well with her father, Damir. Yesterday it was reported that he had threatened to wreak revenge by dropping a nuclear bomb on Sydney.

Damir, famous for his outbursts and unpredictable behaviour, also reportedly threatened - in an interview with a Serb newspaper, Kurir - to kidnap his daughter and kill an Australian.

Dokic, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist, was born in Serbia and moved to Australia in 1994. In 2001, after losing in the first round of the Australian Open to Lindsay Davenport, she switched allegiance to Serbia- Montenegro, after Damir accused tournament organisers of rigging the draw.

Always dominated by her father, the 22-year-old finally broke away from him and the two are now estranged. After deciding to play for Australia again, she was given a wild card into Melbourne Park and was well received by the crowd - although she was knocked out in the first round by the Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.

Damir was thrown out of Wimbledon in 2000 for stamping on a journalist's mobile phone, and was banned from the tour for six months following a tantrum about the price of salmon at the US Open. In 1999 he lay down in the middle of the road, apparently drunk, after being ejected from a tournament in Birmingham.

Yesterday Damir, contacted by an Australian radio station, denied making the comments.

In a statement, Dokic called the incident an "unfortunate distraction around my return to Australia and competitive tennis". She said: "I have spent my life recovering from events such as this. I have not spoken to my father for a number of years. This is not the first time he has made threats publicly to my well-being, so I am not going to allow this latest episode to disrupt my future happiness."