By David Gold

Maria Sharapova_of_RussiaOctober 6 - The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is unconcerned about the fall out with the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) over qualification requirements for the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The ITF announced that players hoping to compete in Rio would have to make themselves available for three Federations Cup ties before the Games, compared to the two required for London.

That has been met by opposition from the WTA, with women's world number two, Maria Sharapova of Russia, publicly voicing her disappointment at the decision.

One positive change which has been welcomed is that the qualification window began straight after the end of London 2012.

According to, ITF spokesperson Kris Dent said that the opposition of the WTA does not change anything.

"We haven't had contractual agreement with ATP for years [over Davis Cup requirements]," he was reported as saying.

"Our priority is going from strength to strength and the Fed Cup has done that.

"The Fed Cup final in Prague sold out in six hours...let's face it, there is a requirement for players every week that they play on tour."

WTA chief executive Stacey Allaster has already said in an interview with Tennis Channel that they believe the new rules are "unfair".

"They think that it is fair and they believe playing the Olympic Games is a reward for representing your country," Allaster argued.

"That is where we have a philosophical difference.

"We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day.

Maria Sharapova_of_Russia_wins_the_French_Open_2012Russia's Maria Sharapova poses with the 2012 French Open trophy

"I know when Maria Sharapova was in the trophy presentation after winning the French Open at Roland Garros, the Russian flag was raised.

"Draw sheets always have the athlete's country beside their name.

"Compared to other professional sports, athletes at the calibre of ours in tennis do not have the same eligibility requirements with their national associations or their international federations."

ITF spokesperson Barbara Travers insists that, contrary to the claims of some of the top women's players, there is a dialogue with them, and that the issue is simply a case of a disagreement.

"We've put our positions forward for a long time," she said.

"The difference is semantics.

"We did not agree with them, so they say they weren't consulted.

"It's not a matter of not having a dialogue, it's not being able to agree on what our priorities are."

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