MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Former top 10 tennis player Jelena Dokic nearly killed herself in April while struggling with her mental health, the Australian said on social media.
Dokic, who played his last professional match in 2014 and has worked as a commentator on Australian TV for the past few years, said he had struggled with “feelings of sadness and constant pain”.
“A vicious cycle in my head. The result: almost jumped from my 26th floor balcony on April 28, ”the 39 -year -old wrote in a note.
“I just want the pain and suffering to stop. I pulled myself from the sidelines, not even knowing how I managed to do it. ”
Dokic has been open about his mental health battle and said in his 2017 book “Unbreakable” that he has suffered physical and emotional abuse over the years from his father.
Born in the former Yugoslavia, Dokic said on Instagram that the past six months have been difficult but getting professional help has saved his life.
“From hiding in the bathroom while at work, to wiping my tears so no one sees them, to the unstoppable crying at home in the four walls I can’t bear,” said the former world number four, who won six singles titles at the competition. Explore the WTA.
“I am writing this because I know I am not a struggling person.
“Just know that you are not alone.”
Dokic said some days are better than others but he is on his way to recovery and vowed to return “stronger than before”.
His post sparked messages of support from several Australian sports figures.
“You have had enough. You are qualified. Your pain will heal, ”said former Olympic champion cyclist Anna Meares.
“You will find peace. Hang in there.”
Mental health has been a focus in tennis since former world number one Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open last year and said she was battling depression.
World number two Alex Zverev spoke about his own mental health problems during the recent French Open, saying social media meant current players were subject to “more hatred” than previous players.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)