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

Updated: July 6, 2007, 8:29 AM ET

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 Vermont.

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