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.