Annie, if you have time to translate the interview, I'm sure we'd all be massively grateful.
Here it is guys
Dinara's talking style is a bit different from her brother's
Sport Express 13 may 2011
Dinara Safina: I am taking time-out. I don’t know, when I’ll be back
On Wednesday late in the evening was known that the former Nr. 1 Dinara Safina took the decision to withdraw from the starting Roland Garros due to problems with her back. Her decision is also to take indefinite leave from tournaments. The reasons for her decisions are announced by the 25-year-old Muskovite herself, currently 68th in WTA ranking, in a conversation with the Sport-Express’ correspondent.
Q: Dinara, the decision to withdraw from Roland Garros could be interpreted by many as a step to retirement...
D: I wouldn’t say that I am leaving sport. I want to play tennis as before, but my body needs a break. I am 25 years old, and I would like to have normal life in the future, and not to suffer.
The thing is that I still have issues related to the fracture in the spinal column, and these things are not a joke. Lately I have played in pain, and all the time I felt discomfort in the back. I lost to the German Yulia Goerges in Madrid more than a week ago and still I can’t normally bend or turn left.
I talked with doctors in Madrid, and flew for medical consultations in Austria. The doctors say that for a full recovery after my injury one needs more time.That’s why I decided that if my health doesn’t allow me to play, then I will not do it. When I said that to myself, literally a heavy weight fell off of my shoulders. In the recent time I was under the pressure to play, but my back was hurting. That was putting me down a lot.
Q: How long will you stay out of the game?
D: I don’t know how long will be the time-out, because I don’t want to torture myself and my body. At the start of the season I had no pain or other issues. After I started playing more regularly, everything came back. You start playing better, and the next day you simply cannot turn. I got tired of listening one and the same question from my coach every 5 minutes: “How’s your back? Can you do this exercise?” On court I feel tight, because I am scared to do any sharp movement. I got sick of fighting with the pain. I wish to forget these sufferings as soon as possible.
Q: Was the Madrid tournament the final drop in your decision?
D: Probably, yes. In Spain, before the starting match versus Nourie Llagosteroy Vives I was given a pain-killing shot. During the next match - with Goerges, after only three games I asked the doctors to stop my pain somehow, since I couldn’t bend, or hit backhands
Q: That means that now you will not do even light training?
D: No. Right now I will not do anything tennis related. I am tired of rehabilitation, different exercises. When you see that all this doesn’t bring a result, you have no emotional power left. Now I want to live a regular life
Before taking a racket in hand, I will have to go through a month of special procedures. When I am able to bend and do sharp side movements not thinking of pain, that would be the first sign that I can start practicing.
Q: What deadlines for return did WTA set for you?
D: I do not care, when will that happen - the coming summer on the US series, in the end of the season, or the next year. I want to take as much time on recovery as needed, in order not think about my back until the end of my career.
Q: This way you have disbanded your team, headed by the Italian coach David Sanguinetti?
D: I frankly told the guys that I do not know, how long will I need to return and that they are free to do what they wish. If they get a job offer from someone else, they can accept it. But when I decide to restart my career, I hope we will gather again - of course, if they are available.
Q: I guess you understand that your decision will be discussed and talked about. Not all comments would be nice though....
D: Certainly. For instance, on internet people discuss my weight. Don’t people think, that I am blind and don’t know about it? Many of them don’t even think about the reasons for my weight. Some think that the reason for gaining weight is that everyday I eat chocolate, covered with hot chocolate. What can I say.... It’s very easy to sit before the computer and write nasty things, but to read is unbearable. In the hard times one would like to hear other things from the fans.
Q: Do you remember, when did you feel pain the back for the first time?
D: That was in 2009 in Cincinnati. Every morning the back was hurting me more and more, but I somehow managed to reach the final. During the warm-up in Toronto, before the match versus the French Aravan Rezai, after every hit I saw “stars” in daytime. That’s how all started. At the beginning I didn’t think that this is such a serious thing. Every player has some kind of pain, and that’s why I continued playing. In New York I did scan (MRI?) and I was told that it’s an inflammation. In 2010 I had a fracture in the spinal column.
Q: Who of the female players already knows that you took a break?
D: Vera Dushevina. I don’t think that the girls from WTA Tour care, whether I took a break or nor. That doesn’t concerm them.
Q: Aren’t you scared that the Madrid match versus Yulia Goerges could be your last one?
D: In life everything could happen, but I doubt that I will retire from tennis. I love the sport as much as I did before, but my physique needs time-out. How many times can I call my mom after a match and crying complain about the pain? I discussed this in length with my brother and my parents. They support me. Marat told me - take a break.
Now I am calm. if I have taken the decision to retire and tomorrow would have to search for a new job, probably I would feel differently. Lately, I was thinking of my decisions even at nights. Now, everything has to settle in my head. I hope this goes fast.
Q: Are you in Moscow now?
D: Yes, and the first week here was quite busy, as I had piled up many chores. For the last 6 months, I have been home only 10 days. Finally, I will meet all my friends and relatives. Probably the walls at home will help me too. Probably later I would fly to Monaco, where is my mom now. In Monte Carlo is very nice, since everything is near. I have an idea to drive from Monaco to Italy. Probably, I will make it happen.
Q: What would you tell your fans?
D: 99% I will come back to tennis, but I want to return healthy. So just give me some time.
Q: I guess you have heard about Anna Chakvetadze, who is an year younger than you, and also took a break - due to unexplainable seizures during matches...
D: The difference is that in Anna’s case, the doctors cannot determine the reasons. And that’s the most horrible. Anna probably feels bad as twice, since she had a great pre-season in Argentine. We crossed paths with her there, and I know that she was coming back to her previous level.
People say that our health issues are due to stress. I hope her case will soon be solved in a good way. After all Anna is 24 and I am 25, I think we didn’t deserve such problems.