The Mutua Madrid Open has officially presented Dinara Safina as the link between the organisation and the female players. The news means that the 2009 champion will become a member of staff at the tournament that takes place in the Spanish capital from 1 to 10 May, where she will draw on her experience to listen to and serve the needs of the female players taking part in the event.
“It is of huge satisfaction for us that Dinara has accepted the offer to work at the tournament. She is going to do an exceptional job”, stated Manolo Santana, Director of the Mutua Madrid Open who shared his impressions with journalists before the start of the fourteenth staging of the competition. “I have a special relationship with Madrid”, Safina later said after her presentation to the media. “Something always happens here: I won the title, I played my last tournament, I retired…”, added the Russian, who will utilise her experience on the tour to be the spokeswoman for the organisers and the female players. “Together we make a good team to continue adding our grain of sand and improve year after year on the small things that can be improved”, added Alberto Berasategui, who is now in his third year on the tournament’s staff. “We can’t wait for it all to get started”.
Safina’s return to the Mutua Madrid Open comes after saying goodbye to the tour on the same stage. The Russian chose the Caja Mágica to officially announce her retirement last year in an emotional goodbye that came during the trophy ceremony after the women’s final, where she was accompanied by Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep, the two finalists in the 2014 tournament. Now, Safina is back in Madrid to play an important role for the tournament’s organisers, carrying out the same role with WTA players as Albert Berasategui does with the men.
Like the Madrid native, the Russian had a career littered with success. As well as reaching the top of the world ranking, becoming the world’s number one player, Safina played three Grand Slam finals (Australian Open in 2008 and Roland Garros in 2008 and 2009), won the biggest title of her life at the 2009 Mutua Madrid Open and won the silver Medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. In total, she won 21 singles titles and nine in doubles before ending her career due to a series of back problems. Although she has now embarked on an exciting new stage of her life, Safina is still very much involved with the tennis world in this new venture with the Mutua Madrid Open.