Sharapova says Fed Cup should change dates

Wed May 27, 2015 8:58am EDT
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By Martyn Herman

PARIS (Reuters) - Defending French Open champion Maria Sharapova called for a change in schedule for the Fed Cup on Wednesday, saying playing ties after grand slam tournaments was "pointless".

The Russian showed no ill-effects from a cold as she swept past fellow Russian Fed Cup team member Vitalia Diatchenko 6-3 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier to reach the third round.

She will face tough Australian Samantha Stosur next and the world number two said the next day and a half would all be about maintenance and recovery as she tries to plot her way to a third French Open title in four years.

Sharapova skipped Russia's Fed Cup semi-final against Germany last month -- a decision that proved wise as she enjoyed a strong run in Madrid where she reached the semi-finals and in Rome where she claimed the title.

She is committed to the Fed Cup team, however, and played in the quarter-final against Poland shortly after reaching the Australian Open final.

The 28-year-old said it can be a hassle though.

"It's more the timing of the events that are just really unfortunate," she told reporters. "I have been very vocal about it. I don't think anyone's that's making the Fed Cup schedule is thinking about the players that go far in grand slams.

"They don't understand or appreciate how much mental and physical strength it takes to get to that.   Continued...

Maria Sharapova of Russia plays a shot to compatriot Vitalia Diatchenko during their women's singles match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, May 27, 2015.     REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes