Safina has been sent packing by another returning Russian, Maria Sharapova. Maria won the match 6-2, 6-0 in dominant fashion, showing how much further along in the recovery process she is.
Both players have been trying to re-find their form after serious injury. Sharapova had surgery on her right shoulder in later 2008 and Safina struggled with two spinal stress fractures since the beginning of the season 2010.
“It was a little unfortunate I didn’t win the first game. After that, though, I felt like I stepped it up. I put a lot of pressure on her from the first ball so she would feel on the defense. That was really important for me tonight.
This was one of the first tournaments she’s starting to play a lot better and find her form. That’s dangerous because confidence is a huge thing. You can go out on the court and just swing away. I wanted to take care of business.”
Safina said that her brother, also a former world number one, Marat Safin, had been providing her with some guidance in her recovery efforts.
“He’s really like helping me a lot, and he’s behind me. He’s supporting me all the way. It was not the same when he was playing, because, you know, it’s tough to come to him after the match, and he has his match and you come with my problems, you know. So now at least he has time, and he really always like, You need me? I’m there. Whatever. You need to practice, like, I help you. I do whatever I need to help you.”