Sharapova to lead Russia against Spain

Maria Sharapova will lead a strong Russian team in next week's Fed Cup first-round tie against Spain, the Russian tennis federation said.


Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev has also called up Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nadia Petrova and Ekaterina Makarova for the February 4-5 tie at Moscow's Olympic indoor arena.

World number four Sharapova advanced to the Australian Open semi-finals with a straight-set win over Makarova on Wednesday.

The 56th-ranked Makarova has also been in great form lately, knocking out Serena Williams in Melbourne on Monday to reach the last eight for her best showing in a grand slam.

Kuznetsova, who has won the French and U.S. Open singles titles, teamed up with compatriot Vera Zvonareva to reach the women's doubles final in Melbourne on Wednesday.

The Russians have won four Fed Cup titles since 2004 but lost last year's final to the Czech Republic in Moscow.

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