Tennis: Sharapova to spearhead Russia in Fed Cup

Tennis: Sharapova to spearhead Russia in Fed Cup

MOSCOW, Jan 13, 2015 (AFP) - World number two Maria Sharapova will spearhead Russia in their Fed Cup opening round match against Poland in Krakow from March 7-8, national Olympic team manager Vladimir Kamelzon said Tuesday.

Four-time champions Russia are trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2014 season, when they lost 4-0 to Australia in their opening round clash.

Kamelzon added that Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 23rd in the WTA rankings, and four-time Grand Slam title winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, ranked 27, will also play, along with world number 83 Vita Diatchenko.

"Sharapova's participation is guaranteed," Kamelzon said. "Kuznetsova and Pavlyuchenkova will likely play the doubles.

"Their participation will give all of them the right to play at the Olympics in Rio. We've formed a strong squad and our goal is to win this match." It will be the first meeting between the two nations in Fed Cup.

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