Kuznetsova Won't Play on National Team
Svetlana Kuznetsova, the No.2 ranked women's tennis player in the world, will not play on the Russian national team against Israel in the first round of the Federation Cup (the women's equivalent of the Davis Cup), Sport Ekspress newspaper reports. She told team captain Shamil Tarpishchev that she will challenge Belgian Justine Henin for first place in the world and the Federation Cup match does not fit her schedule.
Tarpishchev allowed Kuznetsova to miss the match, substituting 15th-ranked Dinara Safina on the team. Maria Sharapova and Anna Chakvetadze will also play on the team. The final lineup of the team will be announced during the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the season. The Russian team is the current holder of the Federation Cup.