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Clijsters may drop Fed Cup after final awarded to Russia
( 2003-08-28 10:35) (Agencies)

World number one Kim Clijsters criticised the International Tennis Federation's (ITF) decision to award the Fed Cup final to Moscow on Wednesday, hinting she might not take part in the women's team event.

Russia was chosen to host the event over the three other finalists, Belgium, United States and France.

"It's disappointing, you always like to play at home," the Belgian said after easing into the third of the US Open with a 6-1 6-1 victory over American Laura Granville.

"I don't know if it's that good of a choice from the ITF to have it in Russia.

"What worries me, last time we played in Moscow, I think we played in front of 100, 200 people and we played the Russian team as well.

"I sort of hope that Russia can get through to the final so they have a bigger crowd.

"It will be very disappointing to see if the home country doesn't get to the final.

"In Russia, I don't know if that would be a great crowd if they wouldn't make it through."

Russia meet France in the last four while Belgium take on the United States.

With world number one Clijsters and French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne expected to spearhead the Belgian challenge, the 2001 champions are the favourites for the event scheduled to take place the week of November 17 at 12,000-seat Olympic Stadium in Moscow.

But Belgium's chances would receive a serious blow should Clijsters choose not to take part.

"It's hard to think about," said Clijsters, when asked if she would play. "It's definitely made it a lot tougher.

"It's tough, especially with the week off in between.

"It makes it really tough for a lot of players.

"I definitely think the ITF...I'm sure they'll definitely open their eyes.

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