World No. 23 Svetlana Kuznetsova tells Russia’s Sport Express that she turned down a an invitation to play for Russia in its Fed Cup final against Italy, November 2-3 in Sardinia, Italy. However, Kuznetsova, who added that she wants to focus more on individual goals, said that she may reconsider.
Kuznetsova told TENNIS.com that she has “no idea yet ” whether she will change her mind about playing for the team.
Kuznetsova isn’t the only Russian who may not play for her team. Elena Vesnina told TENNIS.com that she's chosen to play the Tournament of Champions-Sofia rather than the Fed Cup final, even though if she loses early in Bulgaria should could be a late addition to the team.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has indicated that she might do the same. Russia’s 2013 Fed Cup heroine, Ekaterina Makarova, pulled out of this week's Kremlin Cup in Moscow with a right wrist injury. While she is hoping to play the final, the left-handed Makarova, who has not played a match since her run to the U.S. Open quarterfinals last month, may not be 100 percent healthy.
Russia’s top player, Maria Sharapova is out with shoulder injury. No. 16 Maria Kirilenko is the only top player who appears committed to play. Other options for captain Shamil Tarpischev are veterans Vera Dushevina and Olga Puchkova, teenager Daria Gavrilova and former Top 20 player Alisa Kleybanova, who is on the comeback trail from Hodgkin's lymphoma.