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Tennis | Fed Cup

Maria Sharapova © Gallo Images

Sharapova misses Fed Cup clash with Japan



Maria Sharapova has been left out of the Russian squad for the Fed Cup World Group clash against Japan on February 9-10.

World No 2 Sharapova, fresh from making the Australian Open semifinals, has played just three Fed Cup ties in her career, making her debut in 2008 to help satisfy Olympic Games qualification criteria.

After playing again in 2011, she also featured in the quarterfinal win over Spain in 2012 in the run-up to the London Games.

"Maria (Sharapova) is set to play a series of WTA tournaments in the United States," said Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev.

"I think it would be unwise to call her as she's unable to perform top-class tennis on both fronts."

Australian Open quarterfinalist Svetlana Kuznetsova has also been left out of the Russian squad for the tie to be played on the hardcourts of Moscow's Olympic indoor arena on February 9-10.

Instead, Tarpishchev named Maria Kirilenko, the world number 15, and Ekaterina Makarova, who is 19th in the world, to spearhead the team.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Vesnina, who are 23rd and 47th in the rankings respectively, make up the squad.

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