Sharapova to be practice partner at Fed Cup final
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova is to join the Russia squad as a practice partner for next week's Fed Cup final against Italy in Moscow, the 20-year-old said on her Web site on Thursday.
Sharapova, who has yet to play for Russia in the competition, will join Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anna Chakvetadze, Nadia Petrova and Elina Vesina for the final, to be played on September 15 and 16.
"I was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from our captain (Shamil Tarpischev), asking me if I would like to play in the finals," Sharapova said.
"Unfortunately he called me the day I was visiting a doctor in Toronto, who said the best way to get rid of that 20 percent nagging shoulder pain that I have left is if I don't put any impinging overhead pressure on it for the next three weeks, which basically means I can't hit anything over my head.
"The good news is that I can start hitting this week without any problems...and the least I could do is fly over there and be their practice partner for the week and cheer them on from the stands."
Russia, who are looking to win the Fed Cup for the third time in four years, will be favorites to beat an Italy team to be led by world number 25 Francesca Schiavone.
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