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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 February 2008, 15:37 GMT
Sharapova wins on Fed Cup debut
Maria Sharapova
Sharapova has missed her Fed Cup debut three times through injury
Russia's Maria Sharapova made a winning start to her Fed Cup career with a convincing 6-0 6-4 quarter-final victory over Israel's Tzipi Obziler.

The Australian Open champion outclassed the world number 81 to level the tie at 1-1 in Tel Aviv.

Sharapova, who needed just 28 minutes to win the first set, dropped serve when 5-2 up in the second but she was never really in trouble.

The 20-year-old will next play Shahar Peer on Sunday in the reverse singles.

"It was very weird to come on court being down one love," said Sharapova.

"Usually when I play a match both players start the match at the same level, so this was different but I'm glad it's over and I can't wait for the match versus Shahar."

Earlier on Saturday, Peer had completed an amazing fight back to defeat Dinara Safina 0-6 6-2 6-2.

Sharapova, who has lived in Florida since she was nine years old, has been criticised in the past for not taking part in the Fed Cup.

Russia have been the competition's most consistent team in recent years, winning the trophy on three of the last four occasions.

Israel have lost their previous two encounters against Russia but have won their last 10 Fed Cup ties, with last year's victories over Canada and Austria securing a first-round spot.

The other quarter-finals see the USA, including Lindsay Davenport, host Germany, France travel to China, and Spain away in Italy.

SEE ALSO
Kuznetsova wraps up Fed Cup win
15 Sep 07 |  Tennis
Sharapova to miss Fed Cup debut
02 Apr 07 |  Tennis
From Russia - no love
23 Aug 05 |  Tennis


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