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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 July 2007, 14:59 GMT 15:59 UK
Sharapova pull-out angers Russia
Maria Sharapova
Sharapova has been criticised for failing to play for Russia
Maria Sharapova has been accused by Russian tennis officials of putting her own interests ahead of her country after pulling out of the national team.

Sharapova was due to make her debut for Russia in this weekend's Fed Cup semi-final against the United States.

But she has withdrawn from the tie in Vermont, saying she is not match-fit.

Russia's chief tennis coach Vladimir Kamelzon accused Sharapova's entourage of discouraging her from playing for her native country.

"Her closest advisers are Americans and they would never allow her to play for Russia," Kamelzon told the daily Izvestia. "I'm telling you, just forget about all these promises."

Her closest advisers are Americans and they would never allow her to play for Russia

Vladimir Kamelzon

Florida-based Sharapova has previously been criticised for failing to play for Russia.

Sharapova has suffered with a persistent shoulder injury since April and was comfortably beaten by eventual champion Venus Williams in the fourth round at Wimbledon last week.

She had been due to play against Spain in April, only to withdraw on the eve of the tie citing a similar injury.

SEE ALSO
Sharapova to miss Fed Cup debut
02 Apr 07 |  Tennis
From Russia - no love
23 Aug 05 |  Tennis


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