Posts Tagged ‘Dinara Safina


Dinara Safina is set to miss the remainder of the year because of a persistent back injury.

Dinara Safina

She told her official website: “I’m sorry to report that my back is still acting up. I will not be able to play until at least the end of the year.” The Russian former world number one, who has not played since May, missed both the French Open and Wimbledon. The 25-year-old played in the Australian Open in January but suffered a 6-0 6-0 defeat by Kim Clijsters.

Earlier on in the year, Safina had announced she would be taking a break from tennis because of the pain the back problem was causing her. She said: “I don’t know how long my time out is going to last. I don’t want to torture myself and my body anymore. “I’m just tired of fighting with myself. At the moment I can’t do anything tennis-wise. When I can do certain moves without feeling lots of pain, then I would consider resuming my training.”

Safina is the younger sister of the former US and Australian Open champion Marat Safin.


“Enough is enough! Right now I don’t care when I might return – this summer during the American hardcourt series, towards the end of the season or next year!

Dinara Safina will miss the French Open later this month after taking an indefinite break from tennis. The 25-year-old Russian withdrew from a match against Victoria Azarenka last month because of a back injury. She said: “I don’t know how long my time out is going to last. I don’t want to torture myself and my body anymore. “I’m just tired of constant questions from my coach in training, ‘How is your back? Can you do this exercise?’.”

Safina added: ” I’m just tired of fighting with myself. At the moment I can’t do anything tennis-wise. When I can do certain moves without feeling lots of pain, then I would consider resuming my training. “I’ll take as much time as I need.”

The right-hander became world number one in April 2009 and stayed there for 26 weeks before falling to 108th because of her back injury problems. But she has failed to win a singles Grand Slam title having lost out in three finals.



Dinara Safina needs a victory in Morocco to show she’s on her way back to form.

Dinara Safina reached her first semi-final in almost two years after overcoming fellow Russian Anastasia Pivovarova at the Grand Prix SAR in Fes, Morocco. Safina had to draw on all of her resolve as she finally won 6-4 2-6 6-4 in a match that contained 18 breaks of serve and lasted three-and-a-half hours due to rain delays. The 24-year-old has been beset by injury in the past couple of years but, after showing signs of returning to her best, will meet Alberta Brianti in the last four. The Italian raced through the last set to claim a 7-5 5-7 6-0 victory over American Melanie Oudin in two hours 45 minutes.

Last year’s runner-up and seventh-seeded Romanian Simona Halep is the highest-ranked player left in the draw after she swept aside fourth seed Greta Arn 6-2 6-1. She will meet Kirsten Flipkens in the last-four after the Belgian veteran enjoyed similarly easy progress against local wild card Nadia Lalami, winning 6-0 6-1 in just 45 minutes.



“Sorry that I had to retire, I felt again my back and got very scared.”

Dinara Safina suffered a recurrence of her long-term back problem as she withdrew from the Andalucia Tennis Experience. The Russian, 24, was trailing top seed Victoria Azarenka 5-1 in Marbella when she was forced to retire. Safina has been struggling with back problems since 2009 and has slipped to 81 in the world rankings. “Just did MRI and CT scan, waiting for the result!”

Azarenka, who will meet Sara Errani in Saturday’s semi-finals after the Italian beat fourth seed Alexandra Dulgheru 6-2 6-2, said: “I feel bad winning in this way, above all against an opponent like Dinara. “She has been suffering with her injuries for quite a while and I hope she recovers soon.”



Rezai falls in Andalucia’s first round.

Third seed Aravane Rezai was the day’s biggest casualty as she crashed 6-3 6-0 to Spanish wild card Estrella Cabeza Candela, who at 258 is ranked more than 200 places below Rezai in the world rankings.

Former world number one Dinara Safina was made to work for her place in the second round of the Andalucia Tennis Experience tournament in Marbella. Safina fought back from losing the first set to triumph 3-6 6-2 6-4 and continue her recent improvement. Safina, now world number 81, recently made the last 16 in Indian Wells.

Second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova beat German qualifier Mona Barthel 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 and other winners included Tsvetana Pironkova, Kristina Barrois, Agnes Szavay and Lourdes Dominguez Lino.



“It’s a good challenge for me and I like challenges,” Mattek-Sands said.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands celebrated her 26th birthday with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Sofia Arvidsson to advance to the second round. Mattek-Sands will face top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday. Mattek-Sands lost the one time she played Wozniacki, in the 2009 Italian Open. “It’s a good challenge for me and I like challenges,” Mattek-Sands said. “You just got to go into the match knowing you’re not going to get free points. For me, I’ll stick to my same game plan. I’m going to play aggressive.”

Dinara Safina beat Jelena Dokic 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday to advance to the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open. Safina missed three months last year because of a back injury. “Slowly, I am starting to get some matches behind me,” Safina said. “I’m still far from being at my best, but we are working day by day and with each win it helps me to get closer to where I want to be.”

In other first-round play, Kimiko Date Krumm, at 40 the oldest player in the women’s singles draw, beat Zuzana Ondraskova 6-4, 6-3.



Most interesting match of the day? Dokic v. Safina.

Jelena Dokic, the No.1 seed in the qualies, rallied from 63 30 down to beat American Christina McHale, 36 76(3) 62. Dokic is coming off her first WTA title in almost nine years, winning Kuala Lumpur a few weeks ago. The Australian’s best results here were quarterfinal showings in 2001 (losing to Venus Williams) and 2003 (losing to Kim Clijsters). In the most interesting match of today, Dokic will be tested against Dinara Safina who entered this tournament as a wildcard.

Melanie Oudin, beat Germany’s Julia Goerges, 75 63. Oudin let a 5-2 lead slip away early in the match but wound up closing the first set out anyway, 7-5, then held off the German to put it away in straight sets on Grandstand court, 75 63. “Julia was missing a lot of balls at the beginning and I was just getting balls back; she started playing better and I got a little tight,” Oudin said of the first set. “It was up and down a lot. She’d make errors then hit winners. I was pretty steady most of the match – I think we both could have played better.” Oudin will next take on No.29 seed Daniela Hantuchova, against whom she is 0-2 lifetime (although she won the first set in both of those meetings).



“Definitely it’s a nice feeling to get it back,” said Safina. “It’s been a while since I had these feelings.”

Dinara Safina knocked out fourth-seeded Australian Samanatha Stosur 7-6(2), 6-4 in one hour and 56 minutes. Safina committed 16 doubles faults, but countered losing her serve three times by breaking Stosur four times from 11 opportunities. “I still managed to win a match, so that’s a good thing,” said Safina. “Apart from that, I still stayed tough mentally. I said, ‘okay, it’s not my day on serving, but it might be on the baseline.’” The former WTA No. 1 had come into the week ranked No. 108, and admitted following her second round win over two-time champion Daniela Hantuchova on Saturday that she’d briefly contemplated retirement earlier this season. “Definitely it’s a nice feeling to get it back,” she said. “It’s been a while since I [had] these feelings, after winning the match that you really can smile and you can enjoy the win. Many things have happened, so I want to just enjoy the moment.”

Maria Sharapova lost her opening service game Monday afternoon at the BNP Paribas Open, but quickly regrouped to defeat No. 20 seed Aravane Rezai of France 6-2, 6-2. “I started like I didn’t have my cup of coffee or something, didn’t have my peeps around, so that was disappointing,” she said. “I got it together.” Sharapova, who spent nearly three hours on court in her opening match against Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues, rolled through six straight games to win the first set and broke Rezai two more times in the second to close out the win in one hour and 13 minutes.

No. 18 seed Nadia Petrova was the fourth Russian woman to win in third-round action Monday, ousting the last American standing, 18-year-old wild card Christina McHale, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and four minutes. Petrova will play China’s Peng Shuai for a place in the quarter-finals. The 36th-ranked Peng needed two hours to get past Czech qualifier Lucie Hradecka 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.


Dinara Safina post a huge victory over Hantuchova. Is it a sign of better things ahead?

Dinara Safina won back-to-back matches for the first time this season as she knocked out two-time BNP Paribas Open champion Daniela Hantuchova 7-6(2), 6-4 on Saturday. After both players lost serve three times in the opening set, Safina secured the only break of the second set in the final game, claiming victory after one hour and 56 minutes. Safina, who had dropped to a No. 108 ranking coming into this year’s tournament, last won consecutive matches in September when she reached the Seoul quarter-finals. The 26th-seeded Hantuchova lost in her second-round opening match for the second straight year in Indian Wells. She won the title in 2002 (d. Hingis) and ’07 (d. Kuznetsova).

Two seeds advanced in early action Saturday, with No. 13 Flavia Pennetta of Italy defeating Great Britain’s Elena Baltacha 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and No. 20 Aravane Rezai of France finishing strong against China’s Shuai Zhang 7-6(5), 6-0.


Safina wins but faces the ‘hot’ Hantuchova next.

Dinara Safina recovered an early service break to defeat Spaniard Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-3, 6-3 in the night session. It was just the second win this season for two-time Indian Wells quarter-finalist Safina, who had dropped to a No. 108 ranking coming into the week. Safina will look to string together back-to-back wins for the first time since last September in Seoul when she next meets Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova, a winner of two BNP Paribas Open titles. Safina leads the head-to-head series 6-4, including wins in four of their past five meetings.

Wild card Sloane Stephens defeated qualifier Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-4 in an all-American match Thursday at the BNP Paribas Open to set up a second-round clash with WTA No. 1 and returning finalist Caroline Wozniacki. The 17-year-old Stephens achieved her career-best win on her tour-level debut here last year, when she came through the qualifying rounds and defeated a 67th-ranked Lucie Hradecka before falling to No. 12 Vera Zvonareva. Hampton, the lone American among the 12 qualifiers, was looking for her first win in her sixth tour-level main draw appearance. Another wild card recipient, Christina McHale, had little difficulty getting past Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova, posting a 6-3, 6-1 victory in 65 minutes. The 18-year-old New Jersey native made her Indian Wells debut last year (l. to King). Jill Craybas fell in the first round on her 11th BNP Paribas Open appearance, beaten by Hungary’s Agnes Szavay 6-3, 6-3. The 36 year old had fared well in her most recent visits to the desert, reaching the third round in 2010 (l. to Bartoli) and fourth round in ’09 (l. to Safina).

Russian Ekaterina Makarova handed Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino her first loss in a first-round match this season, defeating the 20 year old 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in just over two hours. Marino had reached her maiden tour-level final last month in Memphis. In other matches Thursday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Great Britain’s Elena Baltacha defeated Italian Roberta Vinci 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 and Urszula Radwanska prevailed against Serbian Bojana Jovanovski 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(6) in two hours and 49 minutes.

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