Dokic’s mum wishes family never left Australia
Jelena Dokic’s mother has backed her daughter’s view that leaving Australia for Serbia was the biggest mistake the family ever made.
Liliana Podnar lives in Sydney and no longer has any contact with Dokic’s dad Damir, who lives in Serbia.
But Podnar said their divorce meant little to her in comparison to the effect it had on their children, Jelena and brother Savo, who lives alone in Serbia.
The family left Australia in 2001, after claiming organisers had rigged the Australian Open draw to make it tough for Dokic, after she lost to then world No.2 Lindsay Davenport in the first round.
Dokic, now estranged from her overbearing father, began representing Australia again in 2006, but Podnar concedes the initial move had a terrible impact on the family.
“If I can change something, first I will change to stay in Australia, first thing,” she told the Seven Network on Tuesday.
“That was a big mistake.”
Speaking before Tuesday night’s Australian Open quarter-final between Dokic and world No.3 Dinara Safina, Podnar said she was delighted and proud of her daughter’s tennis comeback.
She said her daughter’s success this fortnight was no great surprise to her, as she had always shown a propensity to succeed at whatever she put her mind to.
“She was always unbelievable, she was excellent in school, she was excellent in tennis, she really unbelievable,” she said.
Podnar said she regularly spoke to Dokic about her tennis and was happy to see her playing her best, regardless of whether she won or lost.
But she regretted that the Jelena and Savo’s relationship was a casualty of the family’s breakdown.
“It doesn’t matter what happened with me or Damir, it’s not important now, now important is my daughter and my son,” she said.
“Of course she’s now come back and I hope maybe one day she and my son will be here together.
“With mum doesn’t matter, without mum, if they are happy I will be happy too.”© AAP 2013
Sport, all day long. Does this sound too good to be true? We're searching for a Group Sales Manager to lead our team in Sydney. If you're a sales star who doesn't mind a hit, kick, throw, or cycle, we want to hear from you. Apply now.