Dinara Safina retires from tennis

Oct. 7, 2011 at 1:02 PM
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MOSCOW, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Dinara Safina, who held the world No. 1 ranking in women's tennis for 26 weeks, has retired from competitive tennis, her brother said.

A chronic back problem forced Safina, 25, from the game, Marat Safin said.

"Dinara has decided to end her career," said Safin, Safina's brother and himself a former No. 1-ranked player.

"She has taken the decision relatively well. Everything is all right with her health. She feels good in everyday life but (the back injury means) she simply can't play tennis professional anymore."

Safina became a professional in 2000 and won 12 WTA titles. None of the championships, however, were in major tournaments. She advanced to Grand Slam finals three times -- the 2008 French Open and 2009 Australian Open and French Open -- but lost in straight sets each time.

She became the No. 1-ranked women's player on April 20, 2009, and held that position for 25 weeks. She returned to the No. 1 spot for one week in October 2009. She's currently ranked No. 129 after playing in only a handful of matches this year. The most recent was in Madrid in April when she lost in the second round.

Safina retired with a 360-173 match record and having won nearly $10.6 million.

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