The Russian has pulled out due to a leg injury which she sustained in in a WTA tournament in Miami.
Speaking to the Russian federation’s press service, the 27-year old Russian expressed her disappointment, as she??had been??excited about playing in the event.
???I was looking forward to my return to Sochi to play in the Fed Cup,” said Sharapova
“For me, it would have been the first time I would have had the opportunity to play in the city where I grew up.
“My team and I specially changed my timetable, so that I could represent my country in the semi-final.”
The five-time Grand Slam winner stated that her lack of practice in recent days due to??injury has forced her to pull-out.
“I need to be in my top form to help my team, to perform at my best in the Fed Cup semi-final against such a strong opponent,” she said.
“Unfortunately, I was too short of time to recover completely.”
The captain of the Russian team Anastasia Myskina has named??World No 137 Vera Zvonareva??to replace the Russian superstar and expressed her sympathy towards Sharapova but??remains confident going into the semi-final. ??
“We were in contact with Maria (Sharapova) and her team,”??said Myskina.??”I know that she did her best to recover after an injury, but currently she’s not ready to play.
“Nevertheless, I believe in our team, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming semi-final.”??
Before the injury, Russia were set to be favourites going into the crunch tie as Sharapova would have been joining former French and US Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, who??is??the World No 25,??as well as Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (38), and Elena Vesnina (71).