Fed Cup preparations are underway in Montreal for this weekend’s World Group II play-off tie between Canada and Kazakhstan and Bianca Andreescu could be the home team’s X factor.
After going undefeated in her Fed Cup debut in February to lead Canada to victory in the Americas Zone Group I competition in Mexico, the 16-year-old is ready to play her first tie at home.
“I am really happy to be here and I’m excited to play in front of our fans. The atmosphere will be great,” Andreescu said after practice on Tuesday.
Not only did Andreescu win six matches in Metepec, her efforts also earned her a nomination for the Fed Cup Heart Award and she became the first Canadian to win the prestigious award following a public vote.
“My first Fed Cup experience could not have been better. To help the team get to here and then win the Heart Award, it’s such an honour,” Andreescu added. “To have people vote for me and their votes matter for an award like this, it’s very special.”
With the added experience of Françoise Abanda and Gabriela Dabrowski for this upcoming tie, Andreescu will have a lot of help as Canada tries to defeat a Kazakh team that features two top 55 players in world no. 31 Yulia Putintseva and world no. 51 Yaroslava Shvedova. Andreescu has enjoyed a lot of success in Quebec, winning her first pro title in Gatineau last year, which she says is the best moment of her career so far, and reaching the final in Saguenay last fall. She also reached the second round of qualifying at Rogers Cup in Montreal in 2016.
While many are aware of Abanda’s accomplishments in Fed Cup and Dabrowski’s recent run to the Miami Open doubles title, Andreescu may be a bit less familiar to those in the tennis world, but don’t be surprised if she grabs the spotlight this weekend at Uniprix Stadium, just like she did in Mexico.
“Fed Cup is different, you’re playing for someone else. You’re playing for your country and for your teammates, I love it,” Andreescu said.
Feature photo by: Arturo Velazquez