Former Australian tennis champion Jelena Dokic has debuted her svelte new figure and revealed how she lost a staggering 53kg in just 18 months.

The Melbourne-based sports star, who retired in 2014, revealed she has now returned to her "playing weight" of 67kg – a result which means she no longer has to spend her days 'hiding in the house, not wanting to go outside".

Dokic, a former world No. 4, recently took to Instagram to share a series of snaps which demonstrated her dramatic and inspirational transformation.

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"Well it's been quite a journey for me in the last 18 months," the 36-year-old captioned her post.

"I have been very open about my weight struggles and I have decided to go through this whole process very publicly.

Former tennis star Jelena Dokic has wowed fans by losing 53kg in a year and a half. Photo / Instagram
Former tennis star Jelena Dokic has wowed fans by losing 53kg in a year and a half. Photo / Instagram

"It wasn't always easy but nothing worth doing ever is and the first step was the hardest.

"I had my bad days as well where I didn't believe getting fitter and healthier was possible and that's normal.

"I am so happy to say that now 18 months later I am 53 kilos lighter and even more importantly I have lost 31 kilos in the last 12 months.

Dokic, who weighed 120kg at her heaviest, said she credited her transformation to Jenny Craig, noting portion control and a "vast range of meal options" helped get her diet on track.

From left to right: Dokic at her heaviest in 2018 and (right) now at a svelte 67kg. Photo / Instagram
From left to right: Dokic at her heaviest in 2018 and (right) now at a svelte 67kg. Photo / Instagram

"Their programme is easy to follow, the food is delicious and the support and advice that you get is absolutely incredible.

"I have gone from not having any confidence at all and hiding in the house and not wanting to go outside, to really enjoying life."

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She explained she shed 22kg within six months by embracing a Jenny Craig eating regime, then lost a further 30kg over 12 months.

"Those last 30 kilos were the toughest to lose," she said.

Dokic understands all too well the importance of exercise for maintaining health. Photo / Instagram
Dokic understands all too well the importance of exercise for maintaining health. Photo / Instagram

Dokic said she was now looking forward to her life – and what might lie ahead.

"I look forward to new challenges both in life and my health and fitness as I feel like I can accomplish anything now," she said.

"I want to continue to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle and still continue to get fitter and healthier."

The sports star shared her inspirational message on the first day of the New Year to her 32,000 fans in the hope it might motivate others.

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"I hope this will help many of you no matter what your goals are," she said.

"I hope that my journey to get healthier will inspire and motivate you all and give you the courage and confidence no matter what you want to accomplish in life.

"You can do it, go for it."

Dokic's motivational post was shared to her 32,000 followers on the first day of the New Year. Photo / Instagram
Dokic's motivational post was shared to her 32,000 followers on the first day of the New Year. Photo / Instagram

Speaking previously to the Sunday Herald Sun, Dokic revealed retirement had left her feeling "lost". She said she ate for emotional support and her weight blew out to 120kg.

"I was thrown into retirement not knowing what direction I wanted to go in," Dokic told the publication.

"I wasn't prepared – that's where my weight gain started.

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"When you're a professional athlete, you're in this bubble that's not reality – everything is done for you … training, food, travel, management, so going back into real life was very different."

The former tennis pro also experienced abuse at the hands of her father, Damir Dokic, which she outlined in her 2017 book Unbreakable.

Dokic said retirement left her struggling and she turned to food as a way to cope. Photo / Instagram
Dokic said retirement left her struggling and she turned to food as a way to cope. Photo / Instagram

Dokic wowed tennis fans worldwide after bursting onto the scene as a qualifier in the 1999 Wimbledon tournament.

There she cemented a place in tennis history by winning straight sets against Martina Hingis 6-2 6-0 in the first round.

In 2001, she switched allegiances from Australia to Yugoslavia and reached her career high of world No. 4 in 2002.

After returning to Australia in 2005, she found it hard to maintain her form and slipped in and out of the top 100 until an injury forced her retirement in 2014.

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