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"Climbing the Comeback Mountain with the Tower of Tandil."

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AO Day Seven: Breaking Back. The Bad Kind.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 24, 2010

Poor, poor Dinara Safina. After some solid performances throughout the first week, she was forced to retire to Maria Kirilenko 4-5 down in the first set when the back trouble that bedevilled her at the end of 2009 returned without warning.

Her press conference makes sad reading:

Q. What is the problem? You look terrible.

DINARA SAFINA: My back again. It suddenly hit me. It was getting worse and worse. I have no idea really how it could happen. It’s really, really terrible.

Q. There was no indication earlier?

DINARA SAFINA: The only thing I felt a little bit stiff in practice like during the serve, but nothing serious. My doctor told me I could sometimes have some discomfort in that spot, as I had bone edema, maybe I could not use full power. As long as I can play match, it can happen and I can have discomfort, but he said no pain, nothing.

Today I warm up. Yesterday I had treatment. Today I warm up, it was fine. I was cooling down, and I start to feel a little more pain. Suddenly I played a long game at 3‑2. I won the game. I turned to my coach. I said, I cannot move anymore.

Q. Have you had a diagnosis insofar as how long you could be out of the game? Is it bad?

DINARA SAFINA: I have to go back to Germany to my doctor to speak with him. I mean, I did MRI before I came here, and my bone edema was getting much smaller. It could not happen this. I just really ‑‑ I just don’t know what happened. It’s shocking.

Q. Have you managed to speak to your doctor since you came off court?

DINARA SAFINA: No, not yet. I’m sure my coach is talking to him.

Q. How does this feel compared to last year when you had the back injury?

DINARA SAFINA: Exactly the same like in Doha. Exactly the same. I just cannot move anywhere.

I mean, the physio asked me to lie on the table. I said, I cannot lie. I cannot make any movement. Whatever I try to move, it hurts terribly.

Q. So it’s gotten worse after you came off the court today?

DINARA SAFINA: Yes. Like because I took pain killer before the match, because I was feeling stiff. I think, Okay, I going to take it as a discomfort so I forget about the pain. Then at 3‑2, I said, Okay, can you please give me some more painkillers? I kept on trying because I thought like, Okay, it’s going to work, it has to.

My coach told me at 4‑3 to retire. I’m like, Okay, I’m going to try. But it’s no way.

Q. Do you think you may have done more damage by playing the extra two games?

DINARA SAFINA: Yeah, I’m think so. But, you know, you always hope that it cannot get worse. If it would be the same, you think, Okay, like pain killer, whatever, it can help. You always hope.

Now I see I did worse.


Get better, Dinara.

This of course means that Maria Kirilenko is through to the quarterfinals, where she will face Zheng Jie (Zheng leads the H2H 4-1). Yes, one of these two ladies will be in the semifinals. Who had that in their bracket?

Happy birthday, Maria.

3 Responses to “AO Day Seven: Breaking Back. The Bad Kind.”

  1. irefusetotellyou said

    I feel really quite awful for Dinara — you could tell she was in real pain as she hobbled off the court.


  2. linz said

    This is heartbreaking. She had such a good run there- 3/5 major finals. Just a shame that an injury is keeping her from going back at it, just as it seems she *might* be getting it back together mentally.

  3. lauren said

    Gosh I feel sorry for Dinara. And while I don’t dislike Maria, I feel weird that she’s in the quarters.

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