• WTA Tour

Bizarre twist as Safina denies retirement claims

ESPN staff
October 8, 2011

Former world number one Dinara Safina has denied claims made by her brother that she has retired from tennis.

Brother Marat, himself a former world No. 1, announced on Friday that his sister would no longer compete on the WTA Tour. Safina has been struggling with a long-term back injury, and it appeared time was up on the 25-year-old's career.

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

Even Safina, speaking to ESPN, appeared to confirm the news when saying: "I'm not missing it at all. If you live with this pain for a year and a half, it's not fun anymore. Whenever I start to think I'm going to have this back pain again, it's just frustrating. So for me, I just want to have a normal life."

However, Safina later took to her personal Twitter account to deny claims that she had officially quit the Tour. Instead, it seems the Russian will continue to see how her rehabilitation goes before taking her next move.

"My sweet tweeties, I didn't make any official announcement," Safina wrote on Twitter. "Give me please some time and I'll let you all know... right now I want to take care of my back.

"On Tuesday I'm having a treatment... once I decide something you'll be the first to know, I promise! Love you all."

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