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Former Australian tennis star Jelena Dokic appeared to fight back tears in an emotional tribute to Ash Barty after the Aussie's victory in the Wimbledon ladies final.
The World No.1 etched her name onto the Wimbledon champion's board after a pulsating three-set victory over Karolina Pliskova in the final.
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In doing so, Barty became the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon since her idol Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980.
The 25-year-old's maiden Wimbledon victory sparked heartwarming scenes as Barty celebrated with her coach and boyfriend in the stands.
Back home, the Aussie's family were watching nervously on television as she realised a childhood dream.
Footage of Barty's family jumping up off their couches in celebration went viral, with Aussie tennis great and commentator Todd Woodbridge praising the role that the Queenslander's parents have played in her career.
It prompted a heartbreaking response from Woodbridge's colleague Dokic on the Channel Nine broadcast, with the former Wimbledon semi-finalist seemingly fighting back tears as she talked about what it means to have such a loving support base from your loved ones.
Dokic has openly spoken about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father and former tennis coach, Damir.
Her 2017 biography titled 'Unbreakable' outlined a sustained period of physical, verbal and emotional abuse from her father - who once reportedly kicked Dokic out of the London hotel room they were staying at because she lost the Wimbledon semi-final in 2000.
Despite Dokic's career funding their lifestyle, she claims she was forced to find somewhere near the Wimbledon courts to sleep and was systemically beaten by her father over a prolonged period of time.
Dokic's father was often referred to as the "tennis dad from hell" and after seeing the video of Barty's parents celebrating their daughter's win, it was obvious the scars from Dokic's past had not healed.
“I just want to get this out before I fall apart,” she said. “So give me 15 seconds.
“I want to give a shout out to her parents, obviously Josie and Rob, because people underestimate the importance of family. She talks about that all the time.
“And as someone who didn’t have that support, it is so important. This will set an example for parents in Australia and around the world, not just how to raise a champion but a genuinely wonderful human being.
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) July 12, 2021
“This is how you support them. You don’t pressure them, you’re there for them and this is why she is there, so big shout out to them, well done.”
Dokic's voice was cracking up as she delivered the emotional message but to her credit, the 38-year-old managed to stay composed.
Parents hailed after Barty triumph
Barty's long-time former doubles partner Casey Dellacqua also gave a beautiful shout-out to the Queenslander's parents for the wonderful job they have done with the Aussie champion.
“They are just the most beautiful parents and to all parents out there that have kids in sport, take a look at Josie and Rob and how they’ve raised their daughter. She’s got two sisters who she is extremely close with and I know facetimes them a lot," Dellacqua said.
“I really want to say to Josie and Rob, congratulations for not only raising a great tennis player, but a great person because that’s what Ash is. She respects everyone around her – from the moment I met her she said her pleases and thank yous which are just little things which are really, really important in day-to-day life and not just in sport.
“So to Josie and Rob and the whole Barty family, congratulations and enjoy the moment.”
Barty’s father Rob admitted after his daughter's breakthrough win at Wimbledon that her career in tennis almost happened by accident.
“We weren’t tennis players. We were golfers,” he told AAP.
“We just thought she was one of these kids that could do everything.
“We had no idea. People used to say how good she was at tennis but we just thought she was a kid having fun.
“Then she goes over and wins (junior) Wimbledon at the age of 15, you don’t usually win the junior slams until you’re 18, your last year, and we sort of thought ‘maybe she is pretty good at this game’.”
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