Safina pulls out of Australian Open
Originally published on: 26/02/10 13:02
Last year’s finalist was trailing her fellow Russian 5-4 and 30-40 on serve when she called an end to the match with what appeared to be a back complaint.
Safina walked gingerly to the umpire’s chair immediately after playing a forehand from the back of the court and ended the contest without calling for a medical timeout.
The walkover win for Kirilenko meant she progressed to the last eight of a grand slam for the first time in her career.
The world 58 has beaten two Russian seeds so far at Melbourne Park, after upsetting 2008 winner Maria Sharapova in the opening round.
Safina had started the match well and took an early break to surge into a 3-1 lead.
The world number two, however, started to show signs of a problem as the set wore on before Kirilenko levelled at 4-4.
Kirilenko then held serve to go ahead before Safina decided she could not go after conceding a set point.
Kirilenko will play China’s Jie Zheng in the quarter-finals.