Bratislava, April 15, 2016 – The official draw for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II playoff tie between Canada and Slovakia took place on Friday at the Aegon Arena in Bratislava. The tie will be played indoors on red clay on April 16 and 17.
The Canadian team of Françoise Abanda (Montreal), Sharon Fichman (Toronto), Charlotte Robillard-Millette (Blainville, QC), and Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, QC) will play two singles matches on Saturday followed by two more singles and a doubles match on Sunday against Slovakia. Sylvain Bruneau, captain of the Canadian team since 2010, will captain this weekend’s tie as Canada tries to keep its place in World Group II for 2017.
Bruneau has chosen Abanda and Wozniak to play singles and Slovakia’s captain, Matej Liptak, will counter with Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (no. 34) and Dominika Cibulkova (no. 38), who just won the Katowice title in Poland on Sunday. Nineteen-year-old Abanda is making her fourth appearance in Fed Cup while Wozniak will contest the 51st and 52nd Fed Cup matches of her career. She won her 40th Fed Cup match in February. In doubles, Canada will be represented by Fichman and Robillard-Millette. They will face the Slovak pair of Jana Cepelova and Cibulkova.
Here are this weekend’s match ups as determined by the draw:
|Representing Canada||Representing Slovakia|
|1st singles match –
Saturday April 16, 6 a.m. E.T.
|Françoise Abanda||Dominika Cibulkova|
|2nd singles match –
Saturday April 16
|Aleksandra Wozniak||Anna Karolina Schmiedlova|
|3rd singles match –
Sunday April 17, 7 a.m. E.T.
|Françoise Abanda||Anna Karolina Schmiedlova|
|4th singles match –
Sunday April 17
|Aleksandra Wozniak||Dominika Cibulkova|
|Doubles match –
Sunday April 17
|Sharon Fichman/Charlotte Robillard-Millette||Jana Cepelova/Dominika Cibulkova|
“We definitely have a tough task ahead of us but Françoise and Aleksandra love playing Fed Cup and they always bring their best,” said Bruneau. “We’ve had a very good week of practice. They are feeling comfortable on the clay and we’re ready to get started.”
This is the third meeting between Canada and Slovakia in Fed Cup. Canada won the last encounter 3-1 in Quebec City in 2014 and lost 5-0 in 1997. The winner of the tie will remain in World Group II for 2017 while the loser will be relegated to the Zone Group I competition.
The Canadian team is facing a country that has not been excluded from World Group II since 2006. Slovakia reached the Fed Cup semifinals in 2013 and won the title in 2002.
Two singles matches will be played on Saturday April 16 starting at 6 a.m. E.T. Play begins at 7 a.m. on Sunday April 17 with two singles matches followed by doubles. All matches will be best of three sets.
Matches will be broadcast on TVA Sports and Sportsnet.ca.