Former three-time Grand Slam finalist Dinara Safina reveals nervousness and consuming dysfunction performed a giant half in her very early retirement from tennis.
Safina, who’s now 37 years outdated, performed her final match in professional tennis in 2011 Could on the Madrid Open. Though Safina’s final match got here in 2011, she did not formally announce her retirement till 2014.
After 2011 Madrid and Safina not competing in any tournaments within the subsequent couple of months, Marat Safin – the brother of Safina – introduced in late 2011 that his sister determined to retire on account of a power again damage. The next yr, it appeared like Safina was on the verge of coming again when she requested wildcards for Stanford, Montreal, Cincinnati, and the US Open. In the long run, nothing occurred as Safina withdrew these requests.
Contemplating how a lot success Safina had early in her profession, many had been shocked by her early retirement – the Russian was a back-to-back French Open finalist in 2008 and 2009, in addition to an Australian Open finalist in 2009. Additionally, Safina was a semifinalist at Wimbledon and the US Open. In 2009, Safina additionally grew to become the world No. 1 for the primary time in her profession.
Now, Safina has publicly revealed for the primary time what actually compelled her into an early retirement.
“What finally stored me from coming again was that bodily, I struggled with physique weight. I used to be combating nervousness and a binge consuming dysfunction. I used to be persistently obese, and I couldn’t lose it though I fought a lot to take action,” Safina instructed tennis.com.
“I might strive totally different diets and nothing labored and to play with an additional 30 kilos, it’s not simple. For me, this was one of many foremost explanation why I by no means tried to come back again, and these had been robust moments for me, as a result of I used to be bodily not like I used to be, and other people had been saying that I had gotten fats and the blah-blah-blah.
“It’s not a secret, however on the similar time, I don’t need it to be a narrative the place folks learn it like I really feel so dangerous and I’m crying over this. I need folks to grasp that this will occur to anybody.
“Everybody has their very own issues, their very own fears, and it’s regular, when dealing with them, to really feel like you might be alone on this world and nobody else understands. Many individuals have gone by the identical issues. There may be all the time mild on the finish, and it’s vital to keep in mind that you’re not alone.”
Whereas Safina shouldn’t be anymore in professional tennis, she does some tennis teaching. Additionally when addressing her present state, Safina revealed that she has overcome her consuming dysfunction and that she resides a contented life.
Safina praises Aryna Sabalenka
Throughout the identical interview, Safina additionally spoke very extremely of who Sabalenka is as a participant and as an individual.
Simply two years in the past, Sabalenka was in a really adverse place tennis-wise as she was mightily struggling along with her serve and at occasions she even appeared misplaced on the courtroom. Whereas it was a really tough and difficult interval, Sabalenka was eager on discovering options and she or he finally succeeded in her objective.
After a really tough interval in 2022, 25-year-old Sabalenka gained two Grand Slam titles in 12 months and likewise reached the world No. 1 for the primary time in her profession. At this previous Australian Open, Sabalenka was completely spectacular as she did not lose a single set on her technique to defending her title at Melbourne Park.
Reflecting on Sabalenka’s huge success over the past yr, Safina thinks Sabalenka making peace with herself in sure issues has performed a giant half within the Belarusian’s success. Additionally, Safina finds it spectacular how Sabalenka treats these round her.
“The way in which she dealt with herself speaks to her power of character, how loyal she is to her workforce. If one thing has gone mistaken, she takes the duty. She doesn’t blame others and I believe the way in which she treats folks exhibits that she has a really huge coronary heart,” Safina mentioned of Sabalenka.
“I believe she modified as an individual. She has discovered a steadiness the place she is blissful inside and isn’t struggling emotionally. Even when she loses a match, she’s nonetheless smiling and never taking it private. She’s capable of perceive that she will be able to have a nasty day and nonetheless give 100% the subsequent match. It’s not killing her from the within.”
After conducting her objective of turning into a Grand Slam champion on the 2023 Australian Open, Sabalenka revealed that her coach Anton Dubrov accepted the blame and duty for her struggles in 2022 and supplied his resignation. However he did not depart her workforce after Sabalenka instructed him that he wasn’t the issue. As a substitute, the 2 continued working collectively and Sabalenka now has two Grand Slam titles in her assortment.