It’s hard to not feel bad for the girl. Remember when she was number 1? We felt bad for her then. Now? Her ranking is in total free fall.
If there was ever a time for things to be on the up, it would be now. Slowly, the nagging Doha injury all the way from last year is finally subsiding, and Dinara is able to put it in solid practices and go all out in matches.
I saw her opening match against Petko, which she won, and snooped in on several practices the past couple of days. Each time she’s going full tilt, grunting and ripping the cover off the ball. Today she was hammering cross court backhands off short balls, as a drill, and it was pretty clear to me that very few players on the tour hit as hard as Ms. Safina.
Up next is a tough, tough match against Nads (which I will most definitely be at) but after that, her draw is pretty forgiving. I’m not expecting a win, but we’ll get to see how far along the recovery road Dinara is tomorrow. I’ll make sure to have a post dedicated to that match, should be a good one.