World number two Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Russian team for Fed Cup semi-final against the United States, which will take place this weekend in Vermont. The reason is her shoulder injury which has bothered her since April. World number four Svetlana Kuznetsova may also withdraw, since she has an injured shoulder too.
“Kuznetsova is a long shot. If her shoulder improves in the next couple of days then she’ll play,” said Russia Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev.
Sharapova will be replaced by world number 58 Elena Vesnina, and an alternate for Kuznetsova is world number 66 Alla Kudryavtseva (Reminder: Alla Kudryavtseva is that fantastic teenager who was so close to victory in her first round match at Wimbledon against the eventual champion Venus Williams)
Nadia Petrova and Anna Chakvetadze, ranked in the top 10 in the world, make up the rest of the Russian team.
As for the American team, it consists of Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Lisa Raymond and Vania King. (via Reuters)