Russian Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpischev tells Sport Express that he is hopeful Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova will play in April’s semifinal against Slovakia. Neither Sharapova nor Kuznetsova played in Russia’s quarterfinal victory over Japan last weekend.
“I need to study the playing schedules of our girls before starting to plan the line-up for the match with Slovakia,” Tarpischev said. “Of course Sharapova would strengthen our team a great deal, but we should never forget about her personal interests. We must try to minimize any losses for those who are battling for the top places in the rankings.”
World No. 3 Sharapova is scheduled to try and defend her title in Stuttgart the week after Fed Cup. She said in Doha that she will call Tarpischev about the possibility of playing, but Fed Cup is not on her 2013 schedule. She has also said on many occasions that every time she goes to Moscow, where the semifinal is likely to be held, she gets sick.
“Trans-Atlantic flights and time zone changes can seriously harden the battle for the top spot in the WTA rankings,” Tarpischev said. “We’re not going make her life even tougher.”
Tarpischev said that Kuznetsova asked to be released from playing against Japan, as she has just started her comeback from knee surgery.
Kuznetsova told TENNIS.com that she has “no idea yet” whether she will play or not.