Photo: Joe Ng / ITF
On Saturday, Tennis Canada confirmed that Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC), Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON), Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, ON), Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) and Carol Zhao (Toronto, ON) will represent Team Canada presented by Sobeys at the Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Finals in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The competition will be held at the Emirates Arena from November 8-13 and brings together the top 12 countries from across the world.
Canada will take its place in Group A alongside Switzerland and Italy when the action gets underway in Scotland next month. Their opening tie against the Italians will commence on Thursday, November 10 on Court One, followed by Switzerland on Friday, November 11 on Centre Court. The winner of Group A will then advance to the competition’s semi-finals stage. Click here to see the full schedule.
Fernandez, currently ranked No. 38 on the WTA Tour, played an instrumental role in sealing Canada’s place at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals with two singles wins in the team’s victory over Latvia in Vancouver, BC in April. Having made her Billie Jean King Cup debut in 2019 against the Czech Republic, the 20-year-old has since gone on to feature in three further ties and became a Grand Slam finalist at the 2021 US Open. She has two career WTA titles to her name, both coming in Monterrey.
Joining her will be 2019 National Bank Open presented by Rogers and US Open champion Andreescu (No. 57), who will take to the court in Billie Jean King Cup action for the first time since 2019. Andreescu has been selected for eight ties in her career so far and currently holds a 7-3 record in singles and a perfect 3-0 record in doubles. Against the Netherlands in 2019, Andreescu was key to the team’s 4-0 victory, winning two crucial singles rubbers.
Dabrowski, ranked No. 8 in doubles on the WTA Tour, earns her 18th selection for Canada in the Billie Jean King Cup. The 30-year-old, who is a two-time Grand Slam mixed doubles champion, received her first nomination in 2013. She holds a 9-7 career record in doubles in the competition and, so far this season, has won WTA doubles titles at the Madrid Open, Chennai Open and Japan Open.
Marino, who alongside Fernandez was an essential component in Canada’s 4-0 win over Latvia in her hometown Vancouver in April, will be hoping to continue her impressive 2022 form in Glasgow. The 31-year-old recently enjoyed her best run at a Grand Slam – reaching the round of 32 at the US Open – and has climbed into the WTA Tour’s Top 100, sitting comfortably at No. 79. Marino made her Billie Jean King Cup debut in 2011 and has since been involved in seven further ties.
Also joining the team is Zhao (No. 171), who made her first Billie Jean King Cup appearance in 2016. Like Fernandez and Marino, the 27-year-old was part of the Canadian team that defeated Latvia, playing in the doubles rubber which ended in a 6-1, 6-3 victory for her and Dabrowski. Zhao has a 3-1 record in Billie Jean King Cup doubles action.
Sylvain Bruneau to act as Interim Captain in Heidi El Tabakh’s absence
Due to personal reasons, Team Canada Billie Jean King Cup captain Heidi El Tabakh is unable to attend the Finals. Instead, former captain and Tennis Canada’s Head of Performance and Head of Women’s Pro and Transition Tennis, Sylvain Bruneau, will lead the team in Glasgow. El Tabakh will resume her role as team captain for all future ties.
“I’m incredibly disappointed not to be heading to Glasgow with the team for what is sure to be a spectacular event at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals,” El Tabakh said. “That said, I’m grateful to the team and to Tennis Canada for their understanding of my decision to remain at home following the recent birth of my first child. I, like everyone else in Canada, will be watching eagerly from home as, under Sylvain’s guidance, this very capable team aims to go all the way.”
“As always, the competition at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals will be very strong,” Bruneau commented. “But, we will be going to Glasgow with every confidence that our strong team – Leylah [Fernandez], Bianca [Andreescu], Rebecca [Marino], Carol [Zhao] and Gabriela [Dabrowski] – can perform to its capabilities and do very well at the event.”