Not much of a tennis fan, me. I like to play the occasional game, and I don't mind watching a 5 set classic between, say, the Fed and Raffa. But I have to admit that Jelena Dokic's next game is in my diary.
There's not much I can say here that hasn't been said by people who are more astute students of the game than I. But speaking personally, I didn't much like the girl the first time around. I wouldn't have booed her on Centre Court, but there was something about her that made me queasy. Her father, mostly, who is, by any estimation, a first class, bona fide, dyed in the wool dill-whacker. She hit 3,000 balls a day on the practice courts for him. She made unpopular comments in press conferences for him. Then she left Australia and changed her national allegiance for him. And now he wants to come back and play happy families. Someone tell the the customs guys - he should be stopped at the border to preserve the collective Australian IQ.
But all of that personal crap forms the backdrop to what is an astonishing and well-documented story. Getting to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam after several years out of competitive tennis is amazing enough. But to do it in front of a crowd that booed you the last time you played in front of them, and to turn them around until they cheer for you, and then to use that support to go so far is gob-smacking. I truly hope she can keep going, and if Damir does turn up at her hotel room, I hope the Brothers smack him in the chops and tell him that Jelena doesn't live here any more.