POLAND VS RUSSIA

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas : Radwanska will play against Sharapova

Agnieszka Radwanska, the current No 6 on the WTA Tour, will play for Poland in the upcoming Fed Cup by BNP Paribas match against Russia, which will take place in her hometown of Cracow on February 7-8, 2015. First round (quarterfinal) tie of the World Group will be held in the Krakow Arena, on a hard court surface called Rebound Ace in a new stadium that holds 15 000 people. Team Russia will be lead by Maria Sharapova. Tickets are available on www.abilet.pl.

I hope we win but it won’t be easy. And that is regardless of whether I will play their first or second ranked player. I visited the Cracow Arena before, during a boxing gala and have to say that it is an impressive venue. I hope that it will be full for our tie in February – said Agnieszka Radwańska.

In 2014 Radwańska didn’t loose a single match in World Group II against Sweden in Boras (3:2) and in the play offs against Spain in Barcelona (3:2). In both ties, after winning all her singles Agnieszka secured Poland’s victory by winning her doubles matches paired with Alicja Rosolska.

In consequence of these successful matches, Team Poland headed by captain Tomasz Wiktorowski, returned to the World Group of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas. Poland reached the quarterfinals in 1992, the Team hopes for an even better result this time around.

Aside from Agnieszka, Poland’s team consists of: Urszula Radwanska, Katarzyna Piter, Magda Linette, Paula Kania and the doubles specialists Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Alicja Rosolska.

– I am not providing any new information by saying that our rivals are some of the most acclaimed players in the group. If both Maria Sharapova and Ekaterina Makarova take part in the tie, the Russian team will be the favorite to win. It is almost certain that Elena Vesnina will also join their line-up, I am not sure who will be the fourth player. Svetlana Kuznetsova had a good year and there are a few younger girls, who could potentially join the squad – said Tomasz Wiktorowski.

World No 2 Maria Sharapova has not played Fed Cup since February 2012, when she defeated Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa in Moscow. She wants to play the Olympics in Rio in 2016, and must play in the national team in 2015 in order to qualify. Makarova is 11th on the WTA Tour and Kuznetsova 27th. Vesnina is the world’s seventh doubles player. She has been playing with Makarova for the past three years with much success.

Team Russia have been crowned champions four times (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008), and had lost in the final on four occasions (1999, 2001, 1011 and 2013). The Russians lost to Australia 0:4 in the first round of the 2014 World Group. Next they faced Argentina in the play-offs, and won 4:0.