She’s lived in Australia for years with her boyfriend, and last year she was granted Australian citizenship. Now Russian-born Anastasia Rodionova will make her Fed Cup debut for her adopted country when Australia faces Ukraine in next month's World Group playoff. She will join Samantha Stosur, Alicia Molik and Rennae Stubbs in Kharkiv for the tie which tales place on April 24-25.

Team captain David Taylor is optimistic that, with top-tenner and in-form Stosur and veteran doubles standout Stubbs, Australia will be able to advance to the World Group for the first time since 2004. Molik has also impressed Taylor with her form over the six months since she came out of a retirement forced by injury, and Rodionova will obviously be highly motivated to perform well for Australia if she is called upon to take the court.

"It is an opportunity for the Australian team to re-establish itself among the elite countries in the women's tennis," said Taylor. ""Our No.1 singles player, Sam, will once again take on the role of team leader while Rennae, who is the longest serving member in Australian Fed Cup history, makes a strong doubles combination with Sam if it gets down to the fifth rubber."

The other World Group playoff ties feature Belgium against Estonia, Germany against France and Serbia against Slovak Republic

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