MADRID, Spain - In an emotional on-court ceremony at the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday, Dinara Safina officially announced her retirement from professional tennis after a career that was highlighted by 12 WTA titles - including right here in Madrid - three Grand Slams finals and the World No.1 ranking.
One of the most powerful players ever to play the game, Safina emerged from brother Marat Safin's shadow in a big way in the late 2000s, particularly in 2008 and 2009, reaching three Grand Slam finals at the 2008 French Open, 2009 Australian Open and 2009 French Open, as well as rising to No.1 in the world on April 20, 2009. Her biggest triumph came at the inaugural Mutua Madrid Open in 2009.
But nagging back injuries caused her to miss big chunks of time on the tour over the next two years, and after falling in the early rounds of Madrid in 2011 she never played again. Three years later, as Maria Sharapova stepped onto the podium to lift the Mutua Madrid Open crown, Safina stepped away.
In addition to the video you're probably already watching - an interview with Safina from Madrid over the weekend - click here to take a look back at the Legend Of Dinara, courtesy of Courtney Nguyen.