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October 28, 2009

Dinara Safina


1-1 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: I wanted to let everybody know that Dinara has retired from the match but also from the tournament. So Vera Zvonareva will be taking her place as the first alternate.
Questions for Dinara.

Q. What is the injury, Dinara?
DINARA SAFINA: It's a low back, between L4, L5. I have inflammation there, in the bone, inflammation. I've been having it already, I would say, started slowly since Portoroz. I've been playing on the pain, on antiinflammatory, on everything. So this been already for about three months, this pain.

Q. Must be desperately disappointing for you. Not completing your program here means you lose the No. 1 ranking also.
DINARA SAFINA: That's I think was one of the reasons I had to take a break after US Open. It was advised. But I thought like, as I was chasing this No. 1, so I was fighting with my body. God knows, maybe I had to stop after US Open. But then for two tournaments, let's say Beijing and Tokyo, it was quiet, it didn't bother me that much. So I still hoping.
But then my body just give up. And here, I did everything possible to play here. I went yesterday to put injections, cortisone, but I could not handle anymore this pain.

Q. Your brother, amongst other people, were saying in Shanghai, because of all the injuries on the men's tour, that the year is just too long. The women's tour is considerably shorter than the men's tour. I guess it's still tough to last all year without getting hurt.
DINARA SAFINA: Well, it's tough sport. You know, it's a rough sport because you play in all the different surfaces and you have to change and adjust very fast. Like between French Open and Wimbledon, there is basically no even break. So from one, let's say, tournament that the ball bounce here, to change the ball bounce completely opposite, you know. It's completely different surfaces. One is soft, one is hard.
We make the schedule. We decide. So I think all the injuries is, of course, on us, I would say, on better scheduling or taking better health on ourselves. So I wouldn't complain about the schedule because if I would lose everywhere in the first round, I wouldn't have this problem.

Q. Do you think you played too many tournaments this year? Will you cut back on your schedule next year?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, tournaments, I guess I played matches, a lot of matches, you know. But, you know, I don't regret. You know, I better be like this, playing lots of matches than, you know, losing everywhere, you know, being healthy. I mean, okay, healthy is still the most important thing. Just maybe for the next year, I'm gonna be a little bit more experienced and maybe I will adjust a little bit better some things. There are some tournaments that I didn't had to play, but I thought I would need them to play. So I'll be smarter next year.

Q. You now have the winter break. Are you confident by the end of it you will have fully recovered and be recharged and ready to go again?
DINARA SAFINA: I mean, well, definitely I had best year so far. I mean, I just can be proud of myself. But now because it's under question the beginning of the year, if I will be able to play in Australia, because when we speak with the doctors, it doesn't sound so nice. So it's possible that I might even not be hundred percent fit for the Australian. Maybe I'll have to skip it.

Q. How serious a blow would that be if that were the case?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, definitely it's gonna be disappointing. But, you know, at this stage, you think the health is more important. So until I don't recover fully, until all my back is recovered and I can feel that I can have no pain, no fear, the most is no fear, that I can do, then I'll not step on the tournaments.

Q. What did the doctor say? Is it just rest that's going to cure it or maybe surgery or what?
DINARA SAFINA: No, definitely there is no surgery. It's kind of starting of fracture on my L5. So this is just the time. You know, of course, it's the time, then it's the rehabilitation. I have to work on my muscles, on my core stability. As I'm tall, I need to be strong, that I can hold myself. This is going to be a very long procedure.
The same when you break the arm: you need time, rehabilitation, until the arm moves perfectly.

Q. Did he give you any time in terms of months or weeks?
DINARA SAFINA: Let's say they give me six weeks until that I can start maybe play tennis. So, I don't know, from now on six weeks that I can start. So I don't know. I don't know exactly play tennis or maybe even start just doing condition.

Q. What had your schedule been for January? Were you playing lead-up tournaments in Australia or elsewhere?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, I still didn't make any schedule. From now it's under question. So now it's gonna just be a matter of how my back is going.

Q. And with all your points from the Australian Open, too, how devastating would it be not to be able to play there?
DINARA SAFINA: Well, actually right now I can't think about the points, what happen in Australia. If my back is not healthy, what can I do? I can go again in Australia and I can play two games and I can shake the hands. Doesn't help, no. So until I'm not fully recovered, I'll not play. Because I know if I'll be fit, hundred percent, I'll be back.

Q. Aren't you afraid to stay six weeks without tennis?
DINARA SAFINA: There is no other choice. I cannot do anything else. If you break your arm, you cannot do anything with this arm, even if you want. So it's not the matter I'm afraid, not afraid. It's a must. I have to accept it. I mean, everybody from top went through it, you know. Everybody stopped and everybody came back even stronger. So this is gonna be some new experience for me that I'll have to go through.

Q. Do you suffer any pain when you're not on the court? Is the pain there all the time or does it come when you try to play?
DINARA SAFINA: Let's say now, even if I walk, I feel pain. Like it hits me there. Because I spoke with the doctor, and he told me, like, Try to handle. But it's impossible to handle this pain. It's everywhere. If I bend, if I move, if I step. So let's say now I'm sitting and I feel it's there. I cannot even relax this muscle. I'm under tension, not even to relax this muscle.

Q. Marat has had back problems. Have you spoken to him? A couple years ago he had a back problem.

Q. Ribs, sorry.
DINARA SAFINA: I think it was ribs, if I'm not wrong.

End of FastScripts

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