Russia are strongly favored to capture a third Fed Cup title in four years when they take on last year’s surprise winners Italy in the Moscow final this weekend. Russian team have US Open 2007 finalist and semifinalist – world number two Svetlana Kuznetsova and world number five Anna Chakvetadze will both play for their country. Italian team, on the other hand, has no player ranked in the world’s top 20.
However, Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev said that his players shouldn’t relax: “It looks easy, but it’s not. We have to be careful and play smart, otherwise Italy could take advantage of our mistakes.”
Just to mention that the Russians enjoy a 3-0 lead over Italy in head-to-head meetings, including a comfortable 4-1 victory in their last clash two years ago.
Russian team: Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anna Chakvetadze, Nadia Petrova, Elena Vesnina
Captain: Shamil Tarpishchev
Italian team: Francesca Schiavone, Mara Santangelo, Roberta Vinci, Flavia Pennetta
Captain: Corrado Barazzutti