Dinara Mikhailovna Safina (Russian: Динара Михайловна Сафина, Tatar: Динара Мөбин кызы Сафина, Dinara Möbin kızı Safina), born April 27, 1986 in Moscow, is a former World No. 1 Russian professional tennis player.
Safina was born in Moscow, Russia to ethnic Tatar parents. Her mother, Rauza Islanova, was her trainer when she was younger;while her father is director of the Spartak tennis club in Moscow. Her brother Marat is a former world No. 1 on the ATP Tour. Speaking of growing up in such a successful tennis family, Safina stated: “Being the little sister in such a big tennis family is not an easy situation. Maybe that’s why it took me longer to develop. My father is very competitive, but my parents didn’t put pressure on me. I wanted to find my identity. I wanted to be something by myself, like being a big player by myself. So at the beginning I was putting too much pressure on myself. But then gradually I found myself, and I learned how to do better with that situation.” At age 8, Safina and her family moved to Valencia, Spain, and as a result Safina speaks fluent Spanish as well as Russian and English.
Previously, Safina was coached by Glen Schaap, former coach of Anna Chakvetadze and Nadia Petrova, and Željko Krajan, who worked with her during her rise to No. 1 in 2009. From May 2010, she begun working with Gastón Etlis.Their partnership ended after several months and since February 2011 she has been working with Davide Sanguinetti.
Safina’s idols growing up were Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport. More recently, she has stated that she idolises Rafael Nadal.[
Safina was runner-up in singles at the 2008 French Open, 2009 Australian Open, and the 2009 French Open, falling to Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams, and Svetlana Kuznetsova, respectively. She has had success at Grand Slam events in women’s doubles by winning the 2007 US Open with Nathalie Dechy. She also won the Olympic silver medal in women’s singles at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. In late 2012 after numerous months off training, Safina’s injuries have healed and on a quest to return to the top of the WTA Tour rankings, Safina had enlisted the services of Australian coach Christopher Spencer.
She is the younger sister of former World No. 1 men’s player Marat Safin. The brother-sister pair are the first to both achieve No.1 rankings.