Jelena Dokic photo reveals sad truth behind her 20kg weight loss

The sports star and commentator just can't win, writes Melissa Hoyer.

Jelene Dokic at a media event.
Jelena Dokic has proven herself time and time again, but she keeps copping criticism no matter what she does. Photo: Getty

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Jelena Dokic, the former professional tennis player; a seriously strong tennis commentator and best-selling author has faced considerable public scrutiny and negativity for years.

But seriously, why?

Why does the successful 41-year-old Jelena, who has publicly admitted to an extremely difficult childhood, a heart-shattering break-up, mental health issues and struggles with her weight, feel the need to justify her recent, health-related weight loss?

The Aussie tennis great was the lowest-ranked player (129) to ever oust a top seed in a grand slam when she beat Martina Hingis in straight sets at Wimbledon in 1999 and even went on to become a world Number 4 before retiring from the circuit in 2013.


Jelena has been very open about the abuse she suffered from her father, Damir Dokic, which kept her personal life and her name in the public eye and her candid discussions about her traumatic experiences have drawn both sympathy and criticism, as some people never fully understood her situation.

But it has been her transition to commentary and media where she has risen above all and shone brightly - her knowledge and level-headedness world-class.

Jelena Dokic interviewing a tennis player on the court.
Jelena has had great success as a tennis commentator in recent years. Source: Getty

And she’s wryly funny. In that dry, eastern European way I got to know only too well with a Czech father.

While her busy life goes on, to think Jelena had to address trolls and reasons for weight loss seems ludicrous. Despite her talent, we know public figures, particularly those with a tumultuous personal history are frequently judged harshly.

If a public face is one day tagged "overweight", the next minute, they’re questioned about how what and why they are "so slim" and accused of succumbing to "diet culture". It’s idiotic. See? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

And if you’re a public woman AND you’ve lost weight, well! The commentary can be a zillion times worse.

Jelena is fantastic: a talented, strong, articulate, fearless and unbreakable woman who shouldn’t have to justify anything.

The sports queen shouldn't have to give grounds for her kilo drop, but after overwhelmingly positive and a smattering of negative comments, she felt the need to post an explanation.

Of course, we know social media can be both a sensation and a total scourge, but through it and on it, Jelena did set a few "weighty" matters straight. And good on her.

The Nine commentator shared a post on Instagram, comparing her current appearance with how she looked in 2023, when she was 20kg heavier. In her words, she stressed that she was happy in both pictures and said that her weight loss was not a "goal" but simply a "byproduct" of adopting healthier habits.

"The most important thing is that I am happy and proud in both pics regardless of my weight and that I am kind always," she said in her recent Insta missive.

Jelena finished her post with the hashtags: #bodyimage #health #inspo #bodypositivity.

Instead of relying on traditional media, Jelena often uses her platforms as a way to relay her innermost thoughts and it seems to have become her way of venting anything that is on her mind.

Only a day after her "weight" justification, Jelena took to Instagram with an "inspo" post. A post about being humble, down-to-earth and staying true to herself. In the post, she wrote that she had been made to feel unworthy and put down for many years but now she knows that she is enough.

I think if Jelena feels better using her platform to spread positivity and as a strong connection to people, good on her.


No matter what the scales say or what a few tragic trolls say, there is nothing that should keep Jelena Dokic down. Her highly respected expertise has earned its place in the Australian sporting world and on the media stage.

Ignore the jerks. Forget the trolls. You don’t need to justify anything. And Jelena, you just keep doing you.

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