Zvonareva, Kuznetsova lead Russia vs. Italy

Zvonareva, Kuznetsova lead Russia vs. Italy

Published Apr. 5, 2011 7:10 p.m. ET

Vera Zvonareva, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Ekaterina Makarova have been picked in the Russia team to face two-time defending champion Italy in the Fed Cup semifinals.

The third-ranked Zvonareva is back for the first time since playing in the title-winning team against Spain in 2008. She was the runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last season.

Kuznetsova, a two-time Grand Slam champion currently ranked 14th, and No. 21 Pavlyuchenkova won their reverse singles and paired up to win the doubles in Russia's stunning comeback win against France from 2-0 down in the first round in February.

The 39th-ranked Makarova has a 1-1 record in Fed Cup.


The tie will be played on a hard court at Megasport Arena on April 16-17.

Four-time champion Russia is undefeated in nine home series since losing to France in the 2003 semifinals.

Russia holds a 4-1 advantage with Italy's sole victory coming in the 2009 semifinals. Both nations have dominated the Fed Cup since 2004, winning seven titles between them.


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