sport

End of the road for Safina

Former world No 1 Dinara Safina has called time on her tennis career after failing to recover from a serious back injury.

The Russian has not competed on the WTA Tour since May 2011 and has spent the last three years trying to find a way back onto the world circuit.

However, she has had to concede defeat, calling it quits just nine days after her 28th birthday.

She said: "I decided to withdraw from any official announcements until now as I was still hoping to overcome my back injury. But this moment has finally come.

"I played the last professional tournament of my career here in Madrid and that's why I think it's the best place for me to quit the game."

Safina, a winner of 12 WTA Tour titles, collected an Olympic silver medal in Beijing and is a three-time runner-up in Grand Slam finals.