Russia drop Sharapova for Fed Cup final
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova has been dropped from the Russian team for the Fed Cup final against Italy, team captain Shamil Tarpishchev said on Wednesday.
The world number two has not received an invite from Tarpishchev to join up with the team after she pulled out of last week's semi-final against the United States citing a shoulder injury.
The Russians, who were also missing world number four Svetlana Kuznetsova through injury, beat a U.S. team led by Wimbledon champion Venus Williams 3-2 to book a place in the September 15-16 final in Moscow.
Tarpishchev explained that he always relied on the same players that had played for the team in previous ties.
"I feel it just wouldn't be right to invite Sharapova this time," said Tarpishchev, who also coaches the men's team that will host Germany in the Davis Cup semi-finals on September 21-23.
"I'm not going to make much of a change to the team that played against the U.S.," he said, adding that he would only recall Kuznetsova if she recovered from her injury.
Sharapova has been heavily criticised by Russian tennis officials for her decision not to play against the Americans.
The Florida-based Russian, who has yet to make a Fed Cup appearance for her native country, also pulled out of the first-round tie against Spain in April with a similar injury.
Asked if he would invite Sharapova to the team next year, Tarpishchev said he was going to review the situation again at the end of the season.
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