Russia’s Elena Vesnina has chosen to play the Tournament of Champions in Sofia, which features winners of WTA International Series events, rather than the Fed Cup final against Italy, TENNIS.com has learned. Vesnina, who plays doubles with Ekaterina Makarova, told TENNIS.com that her compatriot has an injury and might not play in the Fed Cup final either.
Russian Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpischev presumably would have chosen Vesnina and Makarova to go up against the top-ranked doubles team of Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani.
It appears that the Russian side will at least consist of No. 15 Maria Kirilenko, No. 22 Svetlana Kuznetsova, and No. 30 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, but if Makarova also bows out, Tarpischev may pick veteran Vera Dushevina to play doubles. Nadia Petrova, who is ranked No. 3 in doubles, is also hurt. He could also pick a rookie such as teenager Daria Gavrilova.
It is possible that if Vesnina loses early in Sofia, she could still be named to the Russian squad, as lineup changes can be made up to an hour before the draw is made on Friday.
Italy will likely name Errani, Vinci, Flavia Pennetta, and teenager Camilla Giorgi to its team.
The Fed Cup final will take place in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy, from November 2-3.