In the quarterfinal of the Andalucia Tennis Championships against top seed Victoria Azarenka, Dinara Safina retired while trailing 5-1 because she felt the back pain similar to the reappearing one that has been disrupting her participation in tennis tournaments for a couple of years now. The lower back issues seemed to have been overcome, but with the familiar pain reoccurring, Safina didn’t want to take any risks and withdrew from the tournament:
It was a sad end to the week. I was playing well. I had another problem with my back. I started to feel a pain similar to the one I used to have. I was very afraid, so I am going to have an MRI and see what that shows. I hope it’s nothing serious and that it’s just my fear, but I want to double check. It’s not as strong a pain as before, but I have a similar sensation.
Azarenka’s semifinal opponent in Marbella will be Sara Errani, the eighth seed who beat fourth seed Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 6-2 6-2. The other semifinal features second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated Lara Arruabarrena Vecino in the quarterfinals, and Romanian qualifier Irina Begu, who advanced with a win over sixth seed Klara Zakopalova. (photo by our reader Tony)
Oh no! I really do hope that it was not as serious as before. Good thing she retired immediately and didn’t force herself to play.
Even though she’s only 24, Dinara turned pro 11 yrs ago and that’s a long time to be out there and maybe the combination of various setbacks is too much for her. Safina has been so close to winning a slam, making the finals in 3 or them. Hoping this latest problem is just a speedbump in the road.
The highly talented Vika continues to roll, looks like it’s setting up to be a Victoria/Kuzzy showdown in the finals.
A lot of players have been backing out of the tournaments lately due to injuries. I just hope Safina’s lower back issue is not that serious.