Pavlyuchenkova ousts Sharapova, takes Russia to Fed Cup win

Wednesday, 9 February 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

PARIS (AFP) - Teenage star Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova replaced a struggling Maria Sharapova on Sunday and inspired four-time champions Russia to an historic 3-2 win over France and a place in the Fed Cup semi-finals.

Sharapova, playing her first Fed Cup match in three years, had crumbled to a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to Virginie Razzano on Saturday in her opening singles rubber and did not feature in Moscow on Sunday.

Russia had been 2-0 down overnight after Alize Cornet had seen off Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

But on Sunday, 19-year-old, world number 14 Pavlyuchenkova defeated Cornet 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 before Kuznetsova levelled the World Group I clash by seeing off Razzano 6-4, 6-4.