World No.15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will replace world No.12 Svetlana Kuznetsova for Team Russia at the Mastercard Hopman Cup in 2018.
Kuznetsova has withdrawn from the tournament but is still hopeful she will be fit enough to start her season in Australia.
“I’ve had a procedure on my left wrist and have withdrawn from the Mastercard Hopman Cup as a precaution,” Kuznetsova said.
“I am recovering very well and I should be completely ok. I hope to be ready to go for the rest of the Australian summer.
“I’ll be watching the Hopman Cup on TV and will be cheering Anastasia and Karen on when they take to the court in Perth.”
Pavlyuchenkova will partner up-and-comer world No.45 Karen Khachanov when she makes her Perth debut in January.
The 26-year-old has enjoyed one of her career best seasons with three title wins in Rabat, Monterrey and Hong Kong this year and has reclaimed her spot in the world’s top 15, just two spots away from her career-high ranking of 13 achieved in July 2011.
“I am very happy to have the opportunity to play my first Mastercard Hopman Cup,” Pavlyuchenkova said.
“I’ve heard great things about the tournament and I’ve always wanted to play. I look forward to teaming up with Karen and playing for our fans in Perth.”
“We wish Svetlana a speedy recovery over the coming weeks and hope to see her back on court soon,” Paul Kilderry, Mastercard Hopman Cup Tournament Director added.
“We welcome Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to the tournament for the first time and look forward to watching her and Karen Khachanov make their debut at Perth Arena.”
The 2018 field comprises:
|Australia||Thanasi Kokkinakis and Daria Gavrilova|
|Belgium||David Goffin and Elise Mertens|
|Canada||Vasek Pospisil and Eugenie Bouchard|
|Germany||Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber|
|Japan||Yuichi Sugita and Naomi Osaka|
|Russia||Karen Khachanov and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova|
|Switzerland||Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic|
|USA||Jack Sock and Coco Vandeweghe|