Top 10 players lead Russia in Fed Cup play

Sept. 12, 2008 at 11:51 AM
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MADRID, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Russia sends Top 10 players Vera Zvonareva and Svetlana Kuznetsova into singles competition this weekend as it tries to defend its Federation Cup championship.

The Russian team travels to Madrid to meet Spain in the Fed Cup title series. Russia has won three of the last four Fed Cup championships, including last year's. Spain owns five Fed Cup titles, with the most recent coming in 1998.

Zvonareva, ranked ninth in the world, is to meet Spain's Ana Medina Garrigues to open the best-of-five series Saturday, a draw Friday determined. World No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova is to play Carla Suarez Navarro in the second singles match. Medina Garrigues is ranked 29th and Suarez Navarro is 49th.

The players have reverse singles scheduled for Sunday. The potentially deciding fifth match is in doubles where Russians Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova play Spaniards Nuria Llagostera Vives and Virginia Ruano Pascual.

Spain has opted to have the matches played on clay.

Russia is 4-1 all-time against Spain in Fed Cup play, with the last meeting coming in Moscow in the opening round of the 2007 tournament. The Russian won that series 5-0.

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