Former tennis player Jelena Dokic says she was close to taking her own life

Next to a closeup photo of himself, in which he is red-faced and teary-eyed as if he were crying, Dokic wrote that on April 28 he was about to take his own life.

“Never forget the day. Everything is blurry. Everything is dark,” she wrote.

“No tone, no picture, no meaning … only tears, sadness, depression, anxiety and pain.”

The 39-year-old also explained on Instagram how she was experiencing “constant feelings of sadness and pain” and that getting professional help saved her life.

CNN contacted Dokic’s representatives about his post.

“The last six months have been tough. It’s been constant crying everywhere,” she added. “From hiding in the bathroom at work to wipe my tears so no one would see them to crying uncontrollably at home within my four walls was unbearable.”

Dokic, who has worked as a broadcaster for Australian media since retiring in 2014, has won six WTA Tour titles and reached a career-high position of fourth in the world rankings.

He reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2000 and the quarterfinals of the French Open and Australian Open in 2002 and 2009 respectively.

In his Instagram post, he said that he is “on the road to recovery.”

“Some days are better than others and sometimes I take a step forward and then a step back but I fight and I believe I can get through this,” Dokic said.

In her autobiography “Unbreakable,” she detailed allegations of physical, verbal, and mental abuse she said her father inflicted on her throughout her tennis career. The New York Times reported that he denied at least one allegation of physical abuse against his daughter when she was a teenager.

“It’s a very difficult subject that I talk about in the book, not only my father and the whole amount of abuse that took place from the age of six, almost, for more than 20 years,” said Dokic in an interview with CNN in 2018.

“I struggled with depression for a very long time, almost 10 years, and I was almost suicidal at one point.”

Dokic, who was born in Croatia before his family fled to Serbia and then Australia when war broke out in the Balkans, told CNN he shared his experience in hopes it would “raise awareness of abuse, violence at home, in sport and also outside of sport.”

At the time, Dokic’s father, Damir, did not respond to CNN’s request for comment. He told the Serbian daily Blic in 2009 that “there is no child who is not beaten by parents, like Jelena.”

There was an outpouring of support in the comments section of Dokic’s post, including from the tennis community.

“I’m here for you and just a phone call away!” wrote former Australian player Mark Philippoussis, while French star Alizé Cornet added: “You can do it Jelena … we love you!”

Dokic ended her post with a reminder to others who are also suffering to seek help, encouraging them not to be shy.

“I wrote this because I know I’m not the only one struggling. Just know you’re not alone.

“I wouldn’t say I’m doing great now but I’m definitely on the road to recovery.”

He reminded people that it’s okay to be sad, but you have to keep fighting.

“Love you all and here is to fight and surviving to live and see another day. I will be back stronger than ever.”

If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide, here are ways to help
If you live in the US and are thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK) for free, confidential support. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For crisis support in Spanish, call 888-628-9454
TrevorLifeline, a suicide prevention counseling service for the LGBTQ community, can be reached at 866-488-7386
Befrienders Worldwide connects users to the nearest emotional support center for the part of the world they live in.