May 12, 2011 / 2:26 PM / 8 years ago

Tired Safina takes indefinite break

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former world number one Dinara Safina will miss the French Open after taking an indefinite break from tennis, the Russian said on Thursday.

Dinara Safina of Russia looks on during her match against Kim Clijsters of Belgium at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 18, 2011. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

The 25-year-old, three times a losing grand slam finalist, suffered another setback on her return from a serious back injury when she abandoned her quarter-final against Victoria Azarenka at the Andalucia Tennis Championships last month.

“I don’t know how long my time out (from the game) is going to last because I don’t want to torture myself and my body anymore,” Safina was quoted as saying by Russian media.

“I’m just tired of hearing constant questions from my coach during training ‘How is your back? Can you do this exercise?’ I’m just tired of fighting with myself,” said the younger sister of former men’s world number one Marat Safin.

“At the moment I can’t do anything tennis-wise. When I can do certain moves without feeling lots of pain, then I would consider resuming my training,” she added.

The lanky Muscovite reached the top of the rankings in April 2009, spending a total of 26 weeks as world number one but then plummeted to 108th after being troubled by her back.

She has been criticized for reaching the top without winning a grand slam title, losing all three of her major finals (French Open in 2008 and 2009 and 2009 Australian Open).

After missing much of last year, she made a comeback at the Australian Open in January but suffered an embarrassing 6-0 6-0 defeat by Kim Clijsters in the opening round and soon after contemplated quitting.

“Right now I don’t care when I might return — this summer during the American hardcourt series, toward the end of the season or next year,” Safina said.

“I’ll take as much time as I need.”

Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov; editing by Justin Palmer

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