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Russia set for Fed Cup quarterfinal against China in Moscow


MOSCOW, February 6 (RIA Novosti) - Defending Federation Cup champion Russia is set to meet China in Moscow on Saturday and Sunday in the quarterfinals of the 2009 tournament.

Saturday singles games will open with a match between Svetlana Kuznetsova and Yan Zi and will be followed by the match between 2008 Olympic champion Elena Dementieva and Zhang Shuai.

On Sunday the singles pairs, who played the day before, will switch their opponents and the quarterfinal meeting will be completed by doubles match between Russia's Anna Chakvetadze and Alisa Kleibanova and China's Sun Tian Tian and Yan Zi.

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Dementieva said the Russian squad, led by coach Shamil Tarpishchev, was very focused for the quarterfinal encounter despite their status of favorites in this year's tournament.

"We all came to Moscow with a common aim - to represent Russia as a team ... and are approaching this meeting seriously," she said.

According to a poll conducted by the official Fed Cup website, Russia is out and out favorites to win the tournament this year, with 75% of some 7,000 respondents voting for the Russian squad, 14% for the U.S., 6% for Spain and 4% for Italy.

In other Fed Cup quarterfinal meetings France will take on Italy, the U.S. will play Argentina and the Czech Republic will host Spain.

Russia has won the Fed Cup trophy four out of the last five tournaments (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008). A win this year would bring the country level with Spain and the Czech Republic on five victories, behind only Australia's seven titles and the 17 of the United States.

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