MONTREAL — Leylah Fernandez will lead Canada into a Billie Jean King Cup qualifying tie against Latvia next month in Vancouver.
The 19-year-old Fernandez is Canada's top-ranked women's tennis player at No. 21 in the world. She is coming off a successful defence of her WTA Monterrey Open title on the weekend.
Fernandez, from Laval, Que., will be representing Canada at the Billie Jean King Cup for the fourth time. She has won her last three matches at the women's international tennis tournament, including an upset over then-world No. 5 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in 2020.
“I always have so much fun playing at these ties and I’m excited to finally be able to do it on home soil," Fernandez said in a release. "Wearing the Canadian colours on court is always an honour and I can’t wait to do it in front of a Canadian crowd.”
Vancouver's Rebecca Marino, who is coming off a win at a Challenger event in Arcadia, Calif., was also named to the team, along with Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski — ranked No. 9 on the WTA Tour in doubles —, Montreal's Françoise Abanda and Carol Zhao of Richmond Hill, Ont.
The winner of the tie, scheduled for April 15-16 at the Pacific Coliseum, will qualify for the 2022 Finals in November.
"It will be the first home tie for some of the girls on the team, including myself," said Canada captain Heidi El Tabakh. "We are really pleased with the team we were able to put together, and are confident that Leylah, Gabriela, Rebecca, Françoise, and Carol will give it all they’ve got to secure the win for Canada and qualify for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2022.
The Canadian Press