Sharapova to play for Russia in Fed Cup semifinals vs. U.S.

MOSCOW -- World No. 2 Maria Sharapova
will lead defending champion Russia in next week's Fed Cup
semifinals against the United States.

The Florida-based Sharapova will make her eagerly awaited
debut for her native country after turning down a chance to
represent Russia in a major international team competition on
several occasions in the past.

Russia Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev also named
Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nadia Petrova and Anna Chakvetadze, all
ranked in the top 10 in the world, for the July 14-15 semifinals in

The Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, will lead the host
nation, teaming up with Lisa Raymond and Vania King.