All matches to be broadcast on Sportsnet Now and TVA Sports 2; A few tickets still available for as low as $25 per day
The official draw for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II play-off tie between Canada and Ukraine took place Friday at the InterContinental Montreal Hotel. The tie will be played indoors at IGA Stadium from April 21-22, 2018.
The Canadian Fed Cup team featuring Eugenie Bouchard (Montreal, QC), Françoise Abanda (Montreal, QC), Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) and Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, ON) will take on Ukraine in two singles matches on Saturday, and two singles and one doubles match on Sunday. Canadian Fed Cup captain Sylvain Bruneau will lead the team as they try to remain in the World Group II for 2019.
Bouchard and Abanda were selected by Bruneau to play singles, while the Ukrainian team captain Mikhail Filima nominated Lesia Tsurenko and Kateryna Bondarenko. Bouchard is Canada’s top ranked player, currently sitting at world no. 117, having reached a career-high ranking of no. 5 in 2014. She also has the most Fed Cup wins out of the four players selected for this tie, holding a record of 11-4. Abanda has been a member of the Fed Cup team since 2015 and has posted four Top 50 wins while representing her country, one of which she got last April against Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan. For their part, the two singles players from Ukraine, Tsurenko and Bondarenko, are ranked no. 41 and no. 78, respectively. Bondarenko is also a renowned doubles player, having been ranked as high as no. 9 in 2008.
The doubles teams will be Gabriela Dabrowski and Bianca Andreescu for Canada and Olga Savchuk and Bondarenko for Ukraine.
Today’s draw produced the following weekend match-ups:
|Event||Representing Canada||Representing Ukraine|
|1st Singles Rubber – Saturday April 21, 1 p.m. ET||Françoise Abanda||Lesia Tsurenko|
|2nd Singles Rubber – Saturday April 21||Eugenie Bouchard||Kateryna Bondarenko|
|3rd Singles Rubber – Sunday, April 22, 12 p.m. ET||Eugenie Bouchard||Lesia Tsurenko|
|4th Singles Rubber – Sunday, April 22||Françoise Abanda||Kateryna Bondarenko|
|Doubles Rubber – Sunday, April 22||Gabriela Dabrowski / Bianca Andreescu||Kateryna Bondarenko / Olga Savchuk|
“We know that these will all be tough matches this weekend. We are playing against a very skilled and experienced opponent,” stated Canadian captain Sylvain Bruneau. “Our girls have been practicing hard all week preparing for the difficult task ahead. They will be ready to leave it all on the court starting Saturday.”
In 2016 and 2017, playing without Eugenie Bouchard—the nation’s top ranked player and former world no. 5—the national squad found new leadership in Françoise Abanda and Bianca Andreescu. Despite their young age, these young players battled hard alongside their teammates to bring the Canadian squad back into World Group II for the first time since February 2016.
Earlier this year, it was a young Canadian team that went into Romania for the World Group II first round tie. Led by Bianca Andreescu, the Canadian delegation were unable to keep pace with a higher-ranked Romanian team, losing the tie by a score of 3-1. With four players currently ranked inside the WTA Top 100, including Lesia Tsurenko (41) and Kateryna Bondarenko (78), who is also no. 56 in doubles, the nation has been making a name for itself at the international level. Ukraine reached the World Group for the first time in 2010, but ultimately lost in the first round to Italy. The nation returned to the top division in 2012, falling once again in a close battle with Italy.
Tickets still available
There are are still a few tickets available starting at just $25 per day or $40 for the weekend. A special rate is also offered for children aged 12 years and under at only $15 per day or $20 for both days. Fans who wish to attend to the upcoming tie can purchase their tickets by calling 514-790-1245 or online at www.admission.com. Please note that the Ticketing Office will only be open during the two days of the event for people who wish to obtain tickets on site.
Matches will start at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 with the presentation of two singles matches. Sunday’s lineup will feature two singles matches followed by a doubles match beginning at noon.
The tie will be broadcast on TVA Sports 2 and Sportsnet Now.
*Photos: Pascal Ratthé