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18 May - 10:55 pm NZ
Updated at 11:22 am on 13 June 2012
The newly-crowned French Open champion Maria Sharapova will be Russia's flag-bearer at the opening of next month's London Olympics.
Russia's tennis federation chief Shamil Tarpishchev, who is also a member of Russia's Olympic Committee, said the decision was made just after Sharapova's win in Paris, and he understands that Roger Federer will be Switzerland's flag bearer, and Rafael Nadal will be Spain's.
Russian tennis fans have always been unstinting in their support of Sharapova, even though she is resident in the United States and only rarely comes home. But she does represent her country in the Fed Cup.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand
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