Truth be told: FED CUP seems to bring out the world's best female tennis ballers particularly when they have an alterior motive for playing. Maria "Shriek"apova is making her official debut on the Russian team this weekend when the defending champions take on Israel.
The Aussie Open champ joined the team during last season's finals in the role as the world's most famous practice partner and cheerleader. Reports began to surface that members of the Russian team weren't pleased by her attempts at showing allegiance to her country.
But Maria would like us to know that the media has no idea what it's talking about. During the press conference before this weekend's tie, the 20-year old insisted,
"The majority of us have a wonderful relationship. We do, [...] I don't know what you saw, but we all went to team dinners. I have really good relationships. I couldn't play in the final but the captain asked me to come and support them, and that's the least I could do."Good PR move, but it's quite clear: if she wants to play in the Summer Olympics, Maria must play FED CUP this year. Where will her FED CUP loyalties lie after the Olympic dust settles? We give high marks to Lindsay Davenport, who has been very transparent about her intentions to play the Olympics after her return to the sport.
Why can't all ballers be more straight-forward?
(image via AP Photo/Rick Stevens)