Tennis Canada announced on Wednesday that Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC), Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, ON), Sharon Fichman (Toronto, ON) and Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC) will represent Canada in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off against the Czech Republic on April 20 and 21. The tie will be played on the clay courts of the Agrofert Arena in Prostejov, Czech Republic
“The team is currently in preparation mode for this upcoming tie against the Czech Republic. Our players have all had some good results since the start of the year and we are hoping to capitalize on their momentum going into this match-up,” stated Fed Cup captain Heidi El Tabakh. “We recognize that this tie represents a challenge for us as we are playing a great team who is proficient on a clay court surface. They are last year’s Fed Cup champions and we will be prepared for some tough matches.”
Rebecca Marino will be participating in her second Fed Cup tie of the year, having been selected to represent Canada in February’s match-up against the Netherlands. Pairing up with Dabrowski for the doubles rubber, it was her first time wearing the Canadian colours since 2011. Marino made a successful comeback to tennis in 2018 and has had some good results this year, notably reaching the final of an ITF event in Japan last week.
The team will also be able to count on doubles specialist Gabriela Dabrowski. Playing in her 13th Fed Cup tie, the two-time mixed doubles Grand Slam champion holds a 7-5 record in doubles when playing for Canada. She has been a key member of the Fed Cup team since 2013, winning two of the three decisive doubles matches that she has played in. Since the start of 2019, she has reached two doubles semi-finals, the most recent one in Indian Wells just a few weeks ago.
Joining the team for the first time in three years will be Fed Cup veteran Sharon Fichman. After stepping away from the game in 2016, she returned to tennis two years later, playing mainly in doubles and even capturing the doubles title at the Tevlin Challenger in Toronto. Earlier this year, she also reached the doubles semi-final at the WTA International event in Acapulco. In her Fed Cup career, Fichman holds a 24-9 record with 15 of those wins coming in doubles.
Rounding out the team is 16-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez, who will be making her Fed Cup debut. The Laval native has been a member of the junior Fed Cup team, with the Canadian team finishing in seventh place in last year’s competition. An accomplished junior player, Fernandez reached the finals of the Australian Open in January, which helped propel her to a career-best ranking of no. 4 among the world’s elite under 18 players.
Bianca Andreescu was not named to the Canadian Fed Cup team for the upcoming tie against the Czech Republic due to a lingering injury that she suffered during the Miami Open. Andreescu has been recuperating and slowly preparing for her return to competition. Representing Canada has always been a priority for Andreescu, who has played in eight consecutive Fed Cup ties since her debut in 2017. Although she is unable to participate, she wishes the team the best of luck and she will be ready for the next tie.
The members of team Czech Republic will be announced shortly.
Saturday April 20, beginning at 1:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. Eastern Time)
Two singles matches
Player 1 from Canada vs. Player 2 from the Czech Republic
Player 2 from Canada vs. Player 1 from the Czech Republic
Sunday April 21, beginning at 12 p.m. local time (6 a.m. Eastern Time)
Two singles matches, followed by a doubles match
Player 1 from Canada vs. Player 1 from the Czech Republic
Player 2 from Canada vs. Player 2 from the Czech Republic
Doubles team from Canada vs. Doubles team from the Czech Republic
*The official draw on April 19 will determine the weekend’s match ups. All matches will be best-of-three sets.
*Feature photo: Mauricio Paiz