With 18 days left in the year, Dinara Safina, with one single, yet epic, blog post, surges ahead and grabs, with a vice-like grip, the trophy for Tennis Blogger of the Year. That's right, the rest of us can just close our laptops, get out of our sweatpants (aka, blogger casual) and keep our little quips to ourselves. She earned it.
How did she earn it? By sitting down and writing a 1700+ word, three-page, single space existential rumination on her 2010 season. It was...amazing.
Please, allow me to walk you through Dinara Thoughts after the jump:
Hello my dear fans,
It has been a really long time since I updated you guys about myself!!!!
[Tell me about it. Sometimes life just gets in the way, huh?]
Please forgive me for that, I will try to keep you updated as often as I can. I also left twitter BUT I have GOOD news for you because I’m thinking of coming back there!!!
[DO EEEEEEET. I need someone to talk about something other than fucking Green Day.]
Many of you were asking why I left twitter. It was not easy for me when I needed everyone’s support after losing to Kimiko Date, and some people posted some not very nice comments, which I think wasn’t fair.
[No. It was not fair. Here's a good rule of thumb, people: If you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't tweet your bullshit at them. It ain't hard, children.]
But let’s not talk about that let’s think about good news that I’m thinking of getting back in touch with all of you!
So let’s start here!!!!
Well it was one of the worst years of my career.
Many things have happened and it feels like my life changed 180 degrees from being #2 in the world to #63. Starting with my injury, of course and everything that followed. Those were very tough moments for me but I want to thank my real fans who have always supported me!!
[Loving the correct use of 180 degrees there, kid.]
Let’s look back period per period, starting with the months January to May:
[Ruh roh. This won't be fun.]
Before my injury in Australia, I did really good pre-season preparation, working really hard. But after my match against Maria the next morning the tests (MRI and CT scan) showed that there was a stress fracture on L5S1 and I also had a rupture of the muscle.
[We get it, Dinara. She broke your back. Let's move on.]
You can imagine how I felt, I don’t even know how I managed to pack my bag and sit in the plane because I couldn’t move my back and I had so much pain. I took 3 months off, I was doing treatment every day but of course I couldn’t play any tennis not even conditioning training. I was only doing biking for 45 min and some exercises for the shoulders and a little bit for the legs which were not putting any pressure on my lumbar. I was doing every month an MRI to check on my back and was going to the tennis court to see if it was any better. Until April I was not able to go on court without feeling pain in my back. Finally, when it was getting better, I started to hit for 15 minutes at a time.
Basically, before the start of the clay court season I was not able to practice much.
[Don't worry, girl. We get it. No need to get defensive. Lord knows you weren't on court. HAH! GET IT??? Yeah, ok. Mean. ANYWAY...]
However, the decision was taken with my ex-team to go ahead and participate in the events in Stuttgart, Rome and Madrid. It didn’t go well at all :-((
[Dude. Double sad-face, guys.]
This resulted in a big crisis between me and my team, which resulted in ending our cooperation.
[Oh, this is gonna be the part where it gets good....]
The split with my ex team before the French Open:
Well, I heard many opinions about this matter!
After I took the decision in Madrid to split with my ex team everybody was asking WHY?
[Uh, not everybody. Some of us were asking "WHY NOT A YEAR AGO?]
Unfortunately, I cannot give an answer to this but it was one of the toughest decisions which I ever had to make; it was the worst moment of my life.
Today I would really like to thank Zeljko, Dejan and Tomislav (who helped me through rehab in Croatia). To Zeljko and Dejan I want to thank them a lot for everything that we have achieved as a TEAM. We went from nothing to the very top. Pity we haven’t won a Grand Slam together as a team but we’ve been in 3 finals and also the finals of the Olympic Games. What we achieved I don’t think that many teams have achieved in one and half years.
THANK YOU GUYS FOR ALL OF IT
[Fucking CLASS. That said, I wouldn't have minded some blood. Don't lie. You did, too. Also, can someone make sure Dejan reads that paragraph so that I don't have to go through Awkward Hotel Lobbies and the Feuding Tennis Teams Who Love Them next year? Thanks.]
My New Argentinean Team:
Taking the decision during the Madrid combined event I spoke a lot with my brother and he suggested that I work for a few weeks with Hernan Gumy (Hernan was an ex coach of my brother) who could help with his experience.
So we agreed to work together from mid May till the French Open. In fact, Hernan was working already with Ernest Gulbis but I was allowed to integrate their group. I would like to thank Ernest for that.
[Something tells me Ernie had no idea Dinara was ever there. Ever.]
This helped me because I felt lost in the tennis world with the feeling that everything was starting from scratch for me!
[Breathe, Dinara. Breathe.]
After a while Hernan spoke to me about Gaston Etlis. I could remember that I had played mixed doubles against him (of course I beat him…).
So we started our cooperation at the French Open.
[Buckle up. Next Stop, K Hole...]
The start was anything but positive as I lost first round to…Kimiko Date…..couldn’t start worse.
[No need for the dramatic ellipses, Dinara. We know.]
The French Open has always been a special event in my heart. I have had incredible feelings and memories there. Losing so badly hurt me a lot.
We decided to stay in Paris and prepare for grass court events. The Racing Club has a great grass court. I think it is the most beautiful club which I have ever been to. From Paris we went to Holland where I also lost in the first round to Rybarikova. It was also very disappointing but she was better that day and after that match. After that match (maybe because of the grass courts or the length of the match) my back pain reappeared. Practicing for Wimbledon the pain increased and forced me to pull out of that prestigious event. Another setback!:-(( I had nothing left to do and decided to go back to Moscow for 10 days.
[Hmmm...I'm starting to think that's not a double sad-face emoticon, but actually just a fat girl frowning. Positive body image, Coconut! Turn that frown upside down! Also, stop eating your feelings.]
It’s always nice to go back home after a long travel time! I like to spend time with my friends and my family.
[So...Marat and Yelena Isinbaeva.]
I have my own apartment there. There I like to relax and cook, not only for me but also for my friends and family. I prepare cakes and nice sweet things.
After 10 days resting in Moscow, I left for Buenos Aires accompanied by my mother. It was time to practice for the North American events, called the US Open Series.
I was there for 3 weeks but had to start really very slowly. Because of my back, I had to take time for the rehab; doing about 2 hours in the morning of stretching together with exercises for the core. It was so boring but it was a MUST!!!!! So again I started to practice very slowly with tennis step by step!!! At the end of my 3rd week I played some points and moved around the court more or less pain free depending on the day and on my physical condition.
[Perhaps stay in Europe to train next time? Can't you just find a club in Valencia? Who is managing your schedule, Dinara? Let me talk to him!]
Trip to America-US Open Series starting:
Starting with Stanford and again Kimiko (ha ha ha).
[That's some gallows humor right there.]
I lost again but that day she was really better than me! She played some amazing points in the important moments. The message for me: keep up the hard work because you are not there yet and far away from your best level.
San Diego - my first win after 5 first round exits. You cannot imagine the joy I felt, guys. Some days I thought I could never win a match again! Radwanska beat me next round. She played very good and I needed some matches to get into a rhythm.
[Tangent: Is Aga not on Twitter? She should be on Twitter.]
Slowly, slowly I started to win one, two rounds.
[Hey, Dinara! Remember New Haven?!?! That was awesome!!!]
Another sad moment was the US Open where I lost against Daniela but she played very good that day!
After NY I went back to Moscow and I practiced a little bit with my brother. It was so much fun because he is a tough coach but still my brother. He even broke a racket practicing with me. Some habits never go away. Funny. I enjoyed it a lot. Thank you Marat for taking time for me.
[HOW IS THERE NOT FOOTAGE OF THIS ON YOUTUBE??? YOU HAVE FAILED ME, INTERNET!]
Trip to Asia:
First time in Seoul. Impressive city and friendly people, also at the event. Thank you to the tournament director for giving me a wildcard.
Tokyo and Beijing. Well, these were my last tournaments of the year. Enough of 2010, let’s look at the future. I had to put aside the last first round loses there as well. Too many losses this year.
[Clearly Dinara is experiencing what we in the biz call, "Bloggers Remorse", wherein you start a blog off with grand plans, only to lose steam 3/4 of the way through, and then find your legs again at the very last minute to end with a bang and make people forget that you actually didn't have any idea where you were going for while there. Let's see if Dinara can pull it off like a pro.]
Back home and vacations:
It was so nice to be back home in Moscow because all this traveling and living in hotels gets you tired. Particularly when you keep on losing.
I needed this break!
What did I do during this time? Simply nothing, just enjoying it.
[Good to hear it!]
Again cooking for friends and family. Some of the desserts I know how to do include carrot cake, apple pie, tiramisu and lemon pie.
But also did lamb (not a desert…).
[Whoa. Comedic parentheticals accentuated by hilarious typos is a totally advanced blogger move. I tip my cap.]
I went to the movie theaters and simply enjoyed time with family and friends. But vacations are not forever, so on November 1st I packed my bags and started to work hard again!
[But vacations *can* be forever, Dinara. It's called unemployment. It doesn't suck all the time.]
I am now in Buenos Aires, as I decided to take a long pre-season preparation time. I need it! Daily program consists of physical training (conditioning and back) but also tennis.
I’m here with my mother. She is always with me when I’m practicing and soon my father will be coming as well, and even my brother.
[I love how she's all "EVEN MY BROTHER will be coming to see me. Suck on that, chicks with ugly brothers who never visit them!]
I am very happy to see them all again, as I miss them often during the year. Apart from practicing, me and my mother went to watch polo. The team that we’ve been supporting, Chapolefue, lost, but still it was a great match. For me they are the best.
[Watch out, Yelena.]
Thank you to Eduardo el “RUSO” for inviting me to his match.
[WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA, sister-friend. Who is this "Eduardo", why have you given him a pet name, and did you let him get to third base. Get in your jammy-jams, kill the lights, and pass the Muddy Buddies. We needs to tawk.]
Then we went to visit Tandil.
[Oh yeah. We're familiar.]
A small city from where tennis champions originated.
It is a very beautiful city. I don’t remember when was the last time I did so much sightseeing!
[Who was your tour guide? Does his name rhyme with SCHWEDSCHWUARDO???]
If you love cheese you would find Epoca de Queso a paradise.
[BLOG SENTENCE OF THE YEAR.]
I’m going be in Argentina till the end of the month and from here I’m going straight to Auckland. My first tournament in 2011 and I am looking forward to a new season!
My wish is to be able to play a full year healthy and where I can work hard to come back!
Dear Fans, that’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed reading my blog.
[FUCK YEAH, I DID!]
I love you all,
PS: if you have any questions, write to me on twitter. I promise I will answer.