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Former World No. 1 Dinara Safina officially announced her retirement from professional tennis at the Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid on Sunday, following Maria Sharapova's three set victory over Simona Halep. Prior to the trophy presentation, which Safina was also a part of, the WTA took time to honor the Russian with a video tribute.

"Dinara...congratulations on a fantastic career," WTA CEO Stacey Allaster said during the presentation. "The history books have now been written, and your name, forever, is written with the world's best players of all time."

She was the inaugural champion in Madrid in 2009, but her ascent into the WTA's elite began in May of 2008 in Berlin. There, she defeated World No. 1 Justine Henin in the third round, went on to defeat Serena Williams for the first time in the quarterfinals and beat Elena Dementieva in the final to win the first Tier I title of her career. Later in her career, Safina called the tournament "the key to her tennis life." 

On April 20, 2009, Safina rose to No. 1 in the world rankings for the first time, a position she held for 26 weeks. 
A major title was the only thing to elude her in her career, as she was runner-up in singles at the 2008 French Open, 2009 Australian Open, and the 2009 French Open, to Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova, respectively.

Following her rise to the No.1 ranking, Safina suffered a fractured veterbrae at the Australian Open in 2010, and never fully recovered. Despite making several attempts to return to the WTA, she played her last professional match in Madrid in 2011, where she lost a three-set match to Julia Goerges.

In total, Safina won 12 WTA titles in her career and the silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She and brother Marat Safin were the first, and to date only, brother-sister pair to reach No. 1 in the world.

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