Photo: Martin Sidorjak
Entering the Billie Jean King Cup Finals as the No. 5-ranked doubles player on the WTA Tour, Gabriela Dabrowski is set to play an instrumental role for the Canadian team presented by Sobeys in Prague. The new Finals format sees the 12 best teams across the globe congregate in one location in what is set to be a thrilling climax to the women’s world cup of tennis.
Another new component of the refreshed tournament has seen the makeup of a tie rejigged to place higher stakes on the doubles rubber. Whereas in previous ties the doubles match was only played after at least three singles rubbers – and potentially, by that point, the tie – were settled. Now, if the tie is level after two singles matches, it’ll be doubles that decides its fate.
“It’s really nice to have the doubles be played after two singles and not potentially after three or four,” Dabrowski said when prompted to give her thoughts on the new format during Team Canada’s pre-tournament press conference. “I’m really excited about that prospect, it definitely carries a lot more weight than it might previously had in different formats.”
Dabrowski has performed spectacularly so far in 2021. She won the WTA 1000 National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Montreal in August and has reached three other WTA finals, in Madrid, San Jose and Cincinnati respectively, this year alone.
The 29 year old is no stranger to representing Canada having been selected to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic team earlier this year and with 14 Billie Jean King Cup ties under her belt, she is a veteran of this competition too. Interim Captain Sylvain Bruneau is delighted to have a player of her experience and quality to rely on at the Finals.
“Gaby is one of the leading doubles players in the world,” he commented. “She had an incredible summer starting before Montreal in San Jose and Cincinnati. Even before that she did extremely well and she is really confident right now. She is always a great addition to our team. She makes a difference in those key doubles matches and it’s a big plus whenever she steps in for us.”