King empire

World number 21 Fernandez to lead Canada’s Billie Jean King Cup team against Latvia

MONTREAL — Leylah Fernandez will lead Canada in a Billie Jean King Cup qualifier against Latvia next month in Vancouver. The 19-year-old Fernandez is the highest-ranked Canadian tennis player at No. 21 in the world.

MONTREAL — Leylah Fernandez will lead Canada in a Billie Jean King Cup qualifier against Latvia next month in Vancouver.

The 19-year-old Fernandez is the highest-ranked Canadian tennis player at No. 21 in the world. She just successfully defended her WTA Monterrey Open title this weekend.

Fernandez, of Laval, Que., will represent Canada at the Billie Jean King Cup for the fourth time. She has won her last three matches at the international women’s tennis tournament, including an upset against then-world No. 5 Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in 2020.

“I always have so much fun playing these fixtures and I’m thrilled to finally be able to do it at home,” Fernandez said in a statement. “Wearing the Canadian colors on the field is always an honor and I can’t wait to do it in front of a Canadian crowd.

Rebecca Marino of Vancouver, who is fresh off a win at a Challenger event in Arcadia, Calif., was also named to the team, along with Gabriela Dabrowski of Ottawa, ranked 9th on the WTA Tour in doubles , Françoise Abanda and Carol, of Montreal. Zhao of Richmond Hill, Ont.

The winner of the tie, scheduled for April 15-16 at the Pacific Coliseum, will advance to the 2022 Finals in November.

“It will be the first home game for some of the girls on the team, including myself,” said Canada captain Heidi El Tabakh. “We are really happy with the team we have been able to put together and are confident that Leylah, Gabriela, Rebecca, Francoise and Carol will give their all to secure victory for Canada and qualify for the Billie Jean King. . cup finals.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on March 7, 2022.

The Canadian Press