x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Back injury forces Safina to retire; Djokovic pulls out at Shanghai

Former world No 1 women's tennis player Dinara Safina has retired from professional tennis. Safina has been battling a long-term back injury and was on indefinite break from the game.

Dinara Safina, the former women's world No 1 tennis player, has retired from professional tennis, according to her brother, Marat Safin.

Safina has been battling a long-term back injury and had been on an indefinite break from the game. The Russian often had suggested in interviews that she might never return to competitive action and her brother, the retired former world No 1 in the men's game, confirmed the news on Friday.

"Dinara has decided to end her career," he said. "She has taken the decision relatively well. She considers it just to be the end of a period in her life. Everything is OK with her health. She feels good in everyday life, but she simply can't play tennis professionally any more."

Safina last competed on the women's tour in April in Madrid, losing to Germany's Julia Goerges.

Safina claimed 12 women's singles championships during her career and rose to the top of the rankings in April 2009.

She never won a grand slam title, though she lost twice in the French Open final, in 2008 and 2009, and also lost the 2009 Australian Open final, where she was routed by Serena Williams, winning only three games in the match.

MEN'S TENNIS: Djokovic sidelined for Shanghai

Novak Djokovic, the men’s world No 1, has withdrawn from next week’s Shanghai Masters after failing to recover from a back injury.

The Serbian has struggled to recover from the injury that has sidelined him since late September.

“I did another check this week and the results are not good, so I need to continue my rehabilitation,” he said.