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Back woes as Dokic pulls out in tears

JELENA Dokic left the court in floods of tears on Thursday after retiring with a back injury while leading by a set in her French Open second round match against Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva.

"It's a shock and a disappointment," the Australian former world No. 4 told a news conference after quitting with the score at 6-2, 3-4.

"I felt like I had the match in my hands and I was doing well and even if I didn't win, I was playing really well. I felt like I probably played the best tennis that I played this year."

Dokic, at her first French Open since 2004, appeared to pull something in her lower back at 2-2 in the second set and went off court to receive treatment from the tournament trainer. She returned to break Dementieva despite crying between points.

"I just went down and couldn't come back up. I don't know what it is yet. It was very painful, and I just hope it's not too serious," said Dokic, who sobbed uncontrollably into her towel after retiring while Dementieva came over to comfort her.

Dokic, who rolled her ankle in her last-16 match at the Australian Open, said she was not having much luck at the grand slams on her comeback trail after a troubled few years.

Dementieva was full of sympathy for her opponent.

"It feels bad to win this way and it must be hard on her. She was very solid; it's bad luck for her," said the Russian, who next faces Dokic's compatriot Samantha Stosur. "I didn't deserve to win this match."

Dokic's father, meanwhile, went on trial yesterday in his native Serbia on charges that he threatened the Australian ambassador.

Damir Dokic could face up to eight years in prison if found guilty of "endangering the security" of the ambassador and unlawful possession of weapons. Dokic appeared calm as he arrived under police escort at the court in Ruma, about 50 kilometers northwest of Belgrade.

He was arrested earlier this month after reportedly saying he would blow up ambassador Clair Birgin's car if she didn't stop negative articles about him from being published in Australia. Jelena Dokic had given interviews to Australian media, saying her father had beaten her.


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