Dinara Safina withdraws from Sony Ericsson Championships, may skip Australian Open

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Dinara Safina handed a match to Jelena Jankovic, pulling out from the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha when serving at 1-1 in the first set. The reason for the Russian’s withdrawal is a back injury, which is likely to prevent her from playing the start of the next season, including the 2010 Australian Open.

Safina said the bone structure in her lower back is “starting to fracture”, and that she has had the injury for three months. Today, she couldn’t handle the pain.

Jankovic lost her first round-robin match to Victoria Azarenka, so this present from Safina must have been welcome.

Safina regained the top-ranking on Monday, but she will again hand it to Serena Williams, who will finish a season at No.1 for the second time in her career.

Earlier in the day, Caroline Wozniacki beat Victoria Azarenka 1-6 6-4 7-5, recovering from a first set blowout and saving a match point in the third set. Azarenka was leading by a break four times in the decider, but Wozniacki fought back each time. It was Wozniacki’s first match at the Sony Ericsson Championships ever.


  1. I knew it! Didn’t I say that Safina should give up her spot at Doha, take a break and prepare for next season?! I said that when she played Tokyo I think, and some of you (who I think were her fans) said she shouldn’t-now look!!!! I knew it had to be more than nerves with her, I could just sense it, but I knew she was hungry for that ranking/prize money in Doha, so she wouldn’t withdraw, oh well, it really seems now that she’s more hungry for the #1 spot than she is for a slam, and well, that’s another blog post…

    As for Victoria…holy hell can she blow a lead!!! She did it at the US Open and at Toronto I think. She’s got to work on her concentration/temper. Caroline counterpunched enough to pull off the win, so congrats to her, but I’ll have to see how she competes next year when she has to play at mostly Premier tounries (with the top 10) and not the smaller tournies (less competition).

  2. Hopefully she’ll get better next year. She needs to treat her body & soul with better care than she did this year. I think she wants it too much and whenever she loses she is too negative about herself. Also,she needs to know her limits! Hopefully Elena will win today..!

  3. I feel bad for Safina. After being ragged on all season after the French, we found out that for sometime she has had an injury. She did not make excuses thoughout. I hope she can heal her body and mind during this time and make a great comeback next year.


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