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Friday, March 13, 2015, Falgun 29, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 21, 1436 Hijr

Sharapova boost for Russian Fed Cup hopes
Published : Friday, 13 March, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 5

Moscow, Mar 12: World number two Maria Sharapova's participation will considerably boost Russia's Fed Cup chances this year, national tennis federation boss Shamil Tarpischev insisted Wednesday.
Four-time winners Russia take on two-time champions Germany for a place in the final in Sochi from April 18-19, as the Czech Republic host France in the second semi-final in Ostrava.
"We held talks with her (Sharapova) in recent days," ITAR-TASS news agency quoted Tarpishchev as saying.
"Now we're all happy that she has agreed to play against Germany. Her participation gives Russia a serious advantage.
"We want to win the Fed Cup this year. Together with Maria we have much more of a chance of doing that."
Sharapova must compete in the women's team event if she wants to bid for gold in Rio next year.
And the 27-year-old declared earlier Wednesday she was ready for the tie against Germany who Russia lead 3-1 in previous meetings.
"Sochi, I'm coming back!! (with my tennis gear this time)," Sharapova wrote at her official Twitter page.
Russia had a disappointing 2014 campaign, losing 4-0 to Australia in their opening round clash.     AFP

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