In the quarterfinal of the Andalucia Tennis Championships against top seed Victoria Azarenka, Dinara Safina retired while trailing 5-1 because she felt the back pain similar to the reappearing one that has been disrupting her participation in tennis tournaments for a couple of years now. The lower back issues seemed to have been overcome, but with the familiar pain reoccurring, Safina didn’t want to take any risks and withdrew from the tournament:
It was a sad end to the week. I was playing well. I had another problem with my back. I started to feel a pain similar to the one I used to have. I was very afraid, so I am going to have an MRI and see what that shows. I hope it’s nothing serious and that it’s just my fear, but I want to double check. It’s not as strong a pain as before, but I have a similar sensation.
Azarenka’s semifinal opponent in Marbella will be Sara Errani, the eighth seed who beat fourth seed Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 6-2 6-2. The other semifinal features second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated Lara Arruabarrena Vecino in the quarterfinals, and Romanian qualifier Irina Begu, who advanced with a win over sixth seed Klara Zakopalova. (via the WTA Tour, photo by our reader Tony)