“It was really not easy for me to take this decision but was no more choice.”
Safina, aged 24, first complained about her troublesome back at last year’s Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championships when she was forced to withdraw and despite two months of rest was far from 100% fit during the Australian Open when she again retired from her fourth round match against fellow Muscovite Maria Kirilenko. She did not play again until April but, after winning her first match at her first tournament back in Stuttgart, she has since failed to claim a victory and lost in the first round in the Netherlands at s'Hertogenbosch last week.
Safina’s losing run included a first round defeat at the French Open where she was defending a mass of ranking points after reaching the final 12 months earlier and she complained her back condition prevented her from addressing issues in her game.
She said: “Basically I couldn't work on my serve until I got to Paris and then I had a lot of trouble with the motion during my matches.”