So Dinara Safina is out of Brisbane and in doubt for Melbourne. She's got an injured back which she obviously needs to rehabilitate. This is sad.
This is also bad, as she has finalist points to defend at the Aussie and will thus go tumbling down the rankings. The season will start and go on without her, and who knows when she'll get back in?
But you know what? Even though it will obviously be an epic fail for her to miss the beginning of the season and lose all those points, effectively meaning she'll have to start from scratch-ish (not quite Square One, but a few squares lower), I think it might be good for her to take some time out. This whole being on tour thing is obviously doing her head in, and it can't help any when you've got a bunch of people dancing around a bonfire going 'Dinara Safina is the worst #1 eveeeeeeeer!'
This will give her more time to recuperate physically and prepare herself mentally for another assault on the upper echelons of women's tennis. She knows what to expect now. She knows how tough it is, and how people talk and judge and whatnot. A little time away from that eye could be very good for Dinara. I just hope Zeljko isn't shouting at her too much in the meantime...
And you know what? Maybe this back injury will force her to do what people have been telling to do all year and fix her serve. Or even if the back injury doesn't come into play in this arena, this will give her more time to work on it with Zeljko. Because if she is going to make another assault along the lines of the one she made in mid-2008, the serve is where it has to start.
So rest up, Dinara. Rest, recuperate and get better. I may be the last person in the world clinging to your bandwagon, but I'm still clinging to it. And I'm sure that, when you come back, you will be in a position to give us great things.
3 weeks ago