x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Dinara Safina will retire when she is ready

Marat Safin, himself a former world No 1, may not have noticed that his little sister is 25.

Big brothers often are like that: control freaks always striving to be the centre of attention, even if it means stealing a sibling's thunder.

Marat Safin last week announced a retirement. Not his own; he did that in November of 2009. No, this alleged retirement was that of his sister, the former world No 1 Dinara Safina.

"Dinara has decided to end her career," big brother told a news agency in Moscow. "She has taken the decision relatively well. She considers it just to be the end of a period in her life."

Safin, 31, mentioned his sister's injury problems, specifically her back. "She feels good in everyday life, but she simply can't play tennis professionally any more."

Safina may, in fact, be finished. But she has yet to formalise that choice, a point she made clear two days after her brother went blathering to reporters.

On her Twitter account, she said she has made no decision and asked to be given "some time and I'll let u all know".

Safin, himself a former world No 1, may not have noticed that his little sister is 25 and has been an adult for a good while now and might even be able to announce her own decisions, perhaps even without big brother holding her hand and feeding her lines.

No crime has been committed, of course, and Safina might not even be angry, knowing what she does of big brothers. Safin has had only a quarter-century to work on this "sister is growing up" thing. Who knows, he may eventually get it right someday.


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